French 3D newstand business lekisok has closed its second institutional funding round and is now setting its sights on new European markets having launched in the UK earlier in the year.
A Series B funding round worth $7.1 million (£4.5 million) is set to allow digital magazine platform lekiosk to pursue its plans for global expansion into new markets as well as building on its current offering.
The fundraising transaction follows on from the company’s Series A backing in 2010 which saw the business net $3.8 million from private investors and French investment funds Sigma Gestion and Promelys.
CM-CIC and FSN PME CDC Enterprises are stepping in as new equity backers and will now aid with lekiosk’s Italian launch.
Back in June lekiosk, which allows people to browse, sample and purchase titles from a rotating virtual newsagent including magazines from publishers such as the BBC, Conde Nast and Dennis, launched its product in the UK.
Speaking to GrowthBusiness about the new funding, co-founder Michael Philippe says that while it is too early to give any figures for how the company is performing in the UK, lekiosk has been successful in securing the involvement of ‘major publishers’.
Commenting on the interest lekiosk has received from investment funds as part of its Series B round, Philippe adds, ‘I think it is mainly due to the tablet boom and the market getting bigger, there are investors wanting to get into this space and we are part of the ecosystem now.’
The company claims to be on approximately one in four iPads in France and is said to be the highest grossing iPad app in the French app store.
‘Building across different markets creates lots of challenges as the cultures are very different,’ Philippe explains.
‘The UK is very different from Latin culture, and with anything new it takes a longer time to build business relationships.’
Francois Collet, director at CM-CIC Capital Prive, says, ‘We believe lekiosk is a company with huge potential: it has a win-win model, and strikes a perfect balance between monetizing content, giving publishers an additional distribution channel, and offering users a simple, intuitive and attractive experience.’