Publica pitched in the first-ever virtual cohort SkyDeck Demo Day

Anishi Patel

Berkeley SkyDeck's 2021 Virtual Demo Day featured 17 global startups, including Publica, the digital publishing platform. Publica's service allows content creators to create storefronts where they can advertise and sell digital content, including e-books, audiobooks, and various other publications... all without intermediaries! By fostering a direct relationship between content creators and consumers, Publica offers authors direct control over their brand and over their relationships with customers.

The startups that presented on Demo Day were chosen from a pool of 1,850 applicants, according to SkyDeck. By joining a SkyDeck cohort, the startups received various months of advising through the BAM Program and a $105,000 investment from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund. Through its connections to UC Berkeley alumni, SkyDeck helps connect startups with Silicon Valley investors in virtually any field, making participation in the accelerator program highly coveted.

Publica joined SkyDeck in Fall 2020 and after various months of team training, pitched to industry investors at Demo Day on April 7. The Publica team worked closely with SkyDeck to prepare for the event.

"SkyDeck was crucial for Publica on our expansion plans in the US," Publica CEO and Founder Pablo Laurino said. "We started the program with just the intention of offering our services to US creators and publishers and we're coming to an end with great partnerships, customers, investors, advisors and new team members."

Laurino and the Publica team believe that the future of content commerce is "direct to consumer," as evidenced by the rise in popularity of companies like Uber or Shopify. However, the content industry, controlled by a small number of key players, has yet to benefit from this "direct to consumer" model. Publica aims to decentralize content commerce, allowing content creators to access user data and create better-informed relationships with their audience.

To date, Publica hosts over 300 authors and publishers and has more than 1 million active users. 

Publica's catalog features over 800 publishers and over 1 million titles to choose from, allowing bookstore creators to supplement their libraries with a variety of publications on every topic imaginable. Additionally, Publica's reader boasts a powerful search engine, can transform the text into audio and allow users to mark up and annotate texts. Best of all, Publica collects metrics from users that sellers can use to customize and streamline their sales strategies.