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German Startup Raises 35 Million To Transform The Way We Read

US venture capital firms are convinced Blinkist will radically change the world and how we read.
by Tom Farrar | Dec 20 2018

Berlin is Europe’s startup hub — an eclectic city known for pushing boundaries and breakthrough innovation. At the center of Berlin’s thriving startup scene is Blinkist, an app that’s changing the way we read, which has sparked the interest of US investors.

The Blinkist app highlights key insights from the world’s best nonfiction books in just 15 minutes. With Blinkist, users can read or listen to over 3,000 (and counting!) titles from the world’s smartest minds and start introducing positive change to their lives straight away.

The three founders of Blinkist: Niklas Jansen, Tobias Balling and Holger Seim

‘Blinkist encourages you to read more nonfiction books. The app contains cleverly written digests — called blinks — where books are broken down into their main arguments’.— The New York Times

Catching the attention of some big players in the startup world, Blinkist raised over $35m in fewer than six years. VC firm Insight Venture Partners, early investors in Twitter, Tumblr, and HelloFresh, were first in line. Vice President of Insight, Harley Miller, understands what makes the world’s best startups work and describes Blinkist as “a whole new category of self-optimization.”

The New Way to Learn

‘Blinkist caters to readers with more curiosity than time’– TechCrunch

Finding the time to read is tough, but that doesn’t mean books are off limits. Blinkist built the solution: a microlearning app that fits reading into busy routines whenever there’s a spare minute. Investors see a huge future in this new style of education and see Blinkist as one of the startups driving the innovation — with over 9 million users already enjoying the benefits. And there’s lots to learn — Blinkist has over 3,000 titles, across 27 unique categories and adds 40 new books per month.

Read More This Week Than Last Year

According to the Pew Research Center, the typical American reads just 4 books a year and over 25% haven’t read a single book this year. But, fear not — reading isn’t dying.

Popularity of ebooks and audiobooks means there are now more ways to read than ever before. And Blinkist is pioneering a new method. Aimed at people who love reading but don’t have time to read as much as they’d like to – Blinkist isn’t replacing reading, it’s there to help people read more and read books they’ll love.

‘Blinkist is a revolutionary and pioneering product that satisfies our growing thirst for knowledge.’— Nicolas Wittenborn, Vice President of Insight Venture Partners, Blinkist Investor.

Learning On The Move

Blinkist is designed to fit into a busy schedule, so users can use it whenever and wherever they find the time. And considering the key points from a whole book take just 15 minutes to read or listen to, learning on the go is easier than ever.

‘We want to make knowledge more accessible, by building something meaningful that is going to have a positive impact on people’s lives.’— Holger Seim, Blinkist Co-Founder

Built by Science

The books in Blinkist are created using neuroscientific research to ensure it’s easy to remember what’s been learnt through the app. The way content is written and the way audio is delivered has been specifically designed to ensure it’s retainable, memorable, and applicable to a user’s life.

Plus, the content is created using relevant examples and case studies – which means users are less likely to forget what they’ve read, and more likely to remember and implement what’s useful to them.

To make sure this happens, we have an expert team of (human!) readers who distill all the books into their key insights. We don’t use robots, because Blinkist believes people engage with books better than any AI could, and we have kept it this way to ensure our content is as good as it can be.

With Blinkist, it takes just 15 minutes to blitz through the main points of a title. Blinkist is for curious learners who want to read more but have a hectic schedule with limited time. Download the app today and see what’s possible.

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