Open Air Publishing Seals $800,000

Open Air Publishing has closed on $800,000 in seed financing from investors including SV Angel, Charles River Ventures, and 500 Startups. The New York City-based startup builds interactive how-to books made for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Open Air Publishing launched in May 2011.


Digital publisher Open Air Publishing today announced that it closed an $800,000 seed round of financing, including investments from SV Angel, Charles River Ventures, and 500 Startups. The New York City-based startup builds interactive how-to books made for iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®, each featuring video, slideshows, and other highly tappable content.


Since its launch in May 2011, the company has released four fully digital books for iPad. The funding announcement coincides with the release of all four titles for the iPhone:  Master Your DSLR Camera, Speakeasy Cocktails, The Better Bacon Book, and Holiday Recipes & Party Planning Guide by FOOD52. Regularly priced from $4.99 to $9.99, every Open Air Publishing app has reached #1 or #2 in its category in the U.S. and dozens of other countries.  All have cracked the U.S. top 100 overall rankings on the App Store(SM).


Investors participating in this seed round are: SV Angel, Charles River Ventures, 500 Startups, The Social+Capital Partnership, Richmond Park Partners, David Tisch (BoxGroup), Advancit Capital, DEV (Digital Entertainment Ventures), Graph Ventures, Red Swan, Lars Albright, Sam Stahl, and Josh Mohrer.


“The iOS platform invites a reinvention of the e-book, and Open Air Publishing is building tools and processes to define the publishing/studio hybrid model needed to make true e-book content,” said Jon Feldman, Founder & CEO of Open Air Publishing.  “We’re excited to have this great group of investors and advisors on board as we hit our next phase of growth. We’ve doubled the team to six and plan to have nine new titles out by the end of this year.”


“Our transition into the iPhone market gives us access to a market that is four times the size of the iPad’s,” Feldman said. “This launch will allow us to expand our reach to a larger and more diverse set of readers.”


The iPhone apps feature all the same functionality of the iPad versions, but with the portability and accessibility of a smartphone.  From the text to the videos to its top-notch design, all Open Air Publishing’s books are made from scratch.  Each features experts at the top of their respective fields, including a James Beard award-winning New York Times food editor, award-winning mixologists, and a Pulitzer-finalist photojournalist. Their books have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TechCrunch, and Wired. Speakeasy Cocktails was Gizmodo’s “App of the Week” and was named by Apple as one of the App Store’s “Best Apps of 2011.”


Open Air Publishing’s books can all be purchased from the App Store. The books are powered by Inkling®, and built using Inkling Habitat, a powerful publishing environment for interactive content.


Full Titles of iPad, iPhone & iPod touch Books by Open Air Publishing:


Master Your DSLR Camera: A Better Way to Learn Digital Photography


By photojournalist and Pulitzer finalist Mary F. Calvert and technology writer David Becker, a how-to book HD video tutorials and 30 interactive slideshows and guided tours that let you tap, swipe, and slide your way through photography jargon, camera settings, and dozens of common shooting scenarios.


USA Today: “An invaluable companion for amateur photographers looking to get more out of their gear.”


Speakeasy Cocktails: Learn from the Modern Mixologists


Making the perfect cocktail requires the perfect mix of art, video, and old-fashioned storytelling. Jim Meehan and Joseph Schwartz, two of the world’s top bartenders reveal their best-kept secrets through video tutorials, instructional graphics, and hundreds of interactive recipes.


Bon Appetit — “Top Ten Best Food & Cooking Apps”:”Well-written and friendly, Speakeasy takes the fear and snobbery out of mixing a great cocktail, leaving you to master the most important quality for any bartender—confidence.”


The Better Bacon Book: Make, Cook, and Eat Your Way to Cured Pork Greatness


By Tom Mylan (co-owner and executive butcher of The Meat Hook), Ari Weinzweig (CEO and co-founder of Zingerman’s), and Rob Wiley (food and drink journalist), a how-to guide for bacon lovers who truly care about food. Tap, swipe, and slide through 20 video tutorials on how to make your own bacon, as well as 31 original recipes from the top bacon-obsessed chefs in North America. Learn the history of bacon, then cure, smoke, and fry your own delicious cured pork.


Huffington Post: “The design of the app is beautifully minimal and focusses on five types of bacon you can make at home…  All the steps are also laid out in photos and text, so there’s no need to watch the videos over and over if you missed something.”


Holiday Recipes & Party Planning Guide by FOOD52


By FOOD52 co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, features 75 masterfully curated recipes from seasoned home cooks, 100 minutes of expert video tutorials, and extensive event-planning guidance from the FOOD52 community.


Gizmodo: “The Best Cooking App for the Holidays… FOOD52 is built on the same platform as the excellent Speakeasy Cocktails so you get the same interactive cookbook feel that maximizes the iPad’s strengths. Basically, you won’t be able to go back to print again.


About Open Air Publishing:


Open Air Publishing produces original, how-to e-books designed exclusively for touchscreen devices like the iPad and iPhone. Its books allow readers to master new skills through touch, sight, and sound, guided by our extensive network of experts. Each title in its growing library is crafted to provide a high-quality, comprehensive experience that enhances the depth of a traditional book with premium multimedia elements. Open Air Publishing was founded in May 2011 and is based in New York City.