ValoBox: TOC Startup Showcase Finalist

Book content should be more integrated with the web

We’re giving our readers a chance to get to know our TOC Startup Showcase Finalists a little bit better before the big showdown in NYC. We’re featuring the startups with a personality profile here on our website.

Our next profile is from Anna Lewis and Oli Brooks of ValoBox.

ValoboxI’m really good at …

Offering web-friendly ebooks. That means I’m not going to make you pay for the whole thing if you just want a chapter or two. I’m not going to make you hang around downloading a file that you then have to open in some random application, and I’m not going to ask you to go through a long checkout process every time you want to buy something.

Instead, I’m going to let you search through the text of the whole book, preview the bits you’re interested in, and pay for the parts you read.

What is the first thing that people notice about you?

I’m refreshingly straightforward. I’m instantly useable on any device. Whether you’re on an iPad, an Android phone or a laptop, you can always access books on ValoBox. You just need a browser.

The three things your friends say you are…


What are your three BEST life skills?

I’m easy-going: I’m not asking you to spend money or time creating bespoke files and changing your workflow. If you have an EPUB and some metadata, it takes seconds to get going.

I’m super sociable: You, your authors and your readers can use the sharing functions of ValoBox to tweet links to a particular part of a book or embed it.

I’m flexible: if you want me to become part of your own system, I’ve got all kinds of APIs you can use.

What are you most passionate about?

Book content should be more integrated with the web. At the moment when you are searching online for some information, or looking for how to do something, you can search and view web articles, but you can’t look inside books. There’s loads of incredibly useful information that’s just too hard to access. ValoBox makes reading books as easy as viewing a webpage.

What is the one thing that people don’t notice about you right away that you wish they would?

How well I play with others. Some of the coolest stuff I do happens under the hood and can enable publishers, authors or developers to deliver content to others in new and exciting ways – whether it’s subscription services, or mashing books into other applications… it’s all possible.

Your best (and most sincere) VC pickup line reduced to the length of a tweet…

ValoBox gets books in front of people before retailers can get a look in. It integrates books with the rest of the web so expert content, previously locked away, can be found via a Google search and customers can buy the exact part they need.

Complete this phrase: Valentine’s Day is for _______________.

…reminding us that not even love can get in the way of a good publishing technology conference.

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