BookBub aims to match readers, discounts
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Cambridge-based online book deal service BookBub raised $3.8 million in Series A funding last week from NextView Ventures, Founder Collective, Avalon Ventures, and Bloomberg Beta.
The company’s book discovery platform starts by users creating a profile of their literature tastes. It then informs users — through its website and a daily deals e-mail — about books in their favorite genres and categories that are being discounted by publishers for a limited time. The e-book deals highlighted in the e-mails and online are curated by teams of BookBub researchers who pore over more than 100 discounted submissions each day, choosing the best 10 and 20 to feature.
BookBub said it has close to 3 million members signed up. Prior to the new funding, BookBub said it has been profitable and entirely bootstrapped.
“We’ve come a long way and we are now driving a lot of sales for the industry,” said BookBub founder and president Josh Schanker
Schanker started and sold two other Boston-based companies, BargainDog/Sombasa Media (acquired by About.com) and Sconex (acquired by Alloy), before founding BookBub.
Founder Collective’s Eric Paley said that “it’s pretty amazing what BookBub has done. They’ve become the primary independent channel for publishers and authors to promote their books.”
He added publishers and authors historically spent billions on sales forces going out to bookstores.
“That’s not really a meaningful, effective way to promote books anymore,” Paley added. “These guys are already moving the industry.”
Based out of the Cambridge Innovation Center, BookBub has 20 full-time employees and is looking to make a big hiring push with the new funds.
MITX taps Quigley as chief
The digital marketing, media, and Internet business nonprofit association Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) has named Amy Quigley as the organization’s new president.
Quigley comes to MITX from Myelin Health in Boston where she has been chief marketing officer since May 2013. Previously, she was vice president of marketing at iProspect, and vice president of global marketing at innovation and design firm Continuum.
“Amy is a proven leader who the MITX Executive Committee selected from a robust set of qualified candidates,” said Joe Grimaldi, chairman of the board of MITX and chairman of Mullen. “We are confident she will build on the success MITX has achieved to date and bring the organization to new heights.”
Quigley added she was “thrilled for this opportunity and excited about the possibilities that lie in our future.”
Quigley replaces Debi Kleiman, who served as MITX president for the past 3½ years before taking the executive vice president role at Havas Media North America in Boston.
Kronos tops $1b in revenue
Kronos has surpassed the $1 billion mark for revenue for the 12-month period that ended March 30, said Aron Ain, chief executive of the Chelmsford-based maker of workforce software.
Publicly traded from 1992 to 2007, Ain said Kronos is considering going public once again, though there are no specific plans in the works. “There’s a reasonable chance we could be a public company in the future,” he said.
While Ain said he doesn’t relish some of the aspects of being publicly traded — the “whole quarter to quarter craziness” chief among them — he said there are few acquirers that could afford to buy Kronos outright at this point. A $750 million private equity investment in February valued the firm at $4.5 billion. And Kronos’s private equity backers will naturally be looking for an exit at some point.
Following the recent funding, Blackstone and Singapore-owned investment fund GIC took a 42 percent stake in the company. Other shareholders include Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity.
The $1 billion in revenue came in part due to increased interest in the company’s cloud-based, subscription versions of its workforce management software, Ain said. The revenue results were up 8 percent from $930 million in the prior 12-month-period.
Founded in 1977, Kronos now employs about 3,800 globally — including 1,200 in Massachusetts — and expects to add another 300 to 400 employees over the next 12 months, Ain said.