from TechCrunch

Booktrack Raises $2 Million From Peter Thiel, Park Road, And Others To Add Soundtracks To E-books


New Zealand-based startup Booktrack launched last year to provide e-book readers with something that they’ve been missing: soundtracks to go along with what they’re reading. To push that idea forward, the startup has raised $2 million in Series B funding from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Park Road Post Production, Weta Digital GM Tom Greally, Sparkbox Ventures, New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, EFU Investments Ltd., Stephen Tindall’s K One W One, and others.

The idea behind Booktrack is to make e-books more engaging by providing background music and sounds that go along with what you’re reading. According to founder Paul Cameron, it’s like providing the soundtrack to complement the text. Readers who try it out seem to like it — about 27 percent of customers who download a free sample purchase the book, and about 40 percent of those downloaded end up being read cover-to-cover.

So far, the startup has published soundtracks for books from the likes of James Frey and Salman Rushdie, and recently also released a soundtracked version of The Bible. But the key to its success will also depend on its ability to work with major publishing houses, which it’s already starting to do. It’s had books from Random House and HarperCollins, among others.

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