Inkling, the digital textbook startup, announced that it has won backing from two of the biggest textbook publishers. Among other investors, McGraw-Hill and Pearson are now giving Inkling access to an estimated 95 percent of textbooks available on the market today. However, Inkling’s production will only have about 100 titles, available only on the iPad, ready by the fall.
Currently, Inkling’s relatively slow rate of production is due to the company’s desire to create an interactive textbook that goes above and beyond the digital textbooks that are currently available. According to chief executive and founder Matt MacInnis, the new apps only use the existing textbook as a framework that ultimately casts off “the shackles of the book.” He argues that most digital textbooks are little more than PDF files of the original texts. “It only gets interesting when the content itself changes and begins to respond to your fingertips,” MacInnis said. He wants to work with authors to create new content that’s specifically built for the iPad.
The total amount of financing that Inkling received has not been disclosed, only that is it a “multimillion dollar” investment. The Inkling currently has 14 titles available on its platform, which cover biology, business and economics.