Boat Rocker Media invests in Serial Box

Hoping the addictive nature of serialized TV and podcasts can translate to published stories, the Toronto-based company has led a $1.65-million investment round in the platform.

e-book-1Boat Rocker Media has unveiled its latest venture, with the Toronto-based company leading an investment round of $1.65 million in the story platform Serial Box.

The subscription-based service, based in New York, releases serialized literary content, written by teams of acclaimed authors, on a weekly basis. The serials typically run for 10 to 16 weeks and are available in e-book and audio formats. Serial Box was founded by Molly Barton, the former global digital director of Penguin Random House, and Julian Yap, who previously served as senior counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Additional investors in the start-up include Swedish executive Mattias Lundgren, CEO of Word Audio Publishing, and Richard Sarnoff, who is a former co-chairman of German media company Bertelsmann.

“Serialization has proven to be a powerful storytelling engine in television, podcasts and in comic books, but it has yet to be properly leveraged in modern-day publishing. We see a big opportunity for Serial Box to be a top tier publishing studio of original serial entertainment and look forward to collaborating with their team as they continue to build their platform for readers and listeners,” said Michel Pratte, CRO of Boat Rocker Media, in a statement.

Boat Rocker has been actively investing in start-ups over the past 18 months. In November, Entertainment agency Creative Arts Agency (CAA) raised $16 million from a number of investors, including Boat Rocker and eOne, to launch a Vancouver-based start-up, Creative Labs, which is focused on developing consumer-facing tech companies and media experiences.

Prior to that, in April 2017, Boat Rocker was part of a US$8.5 million funding round backing the New York-based mobile-centric kids media company MarcoPolo Learning. In addition, the company in August 2016 invested in the tech-focused website The Outline, led by The Verge founder Joshua Topolsky.