Spanish book subscription service 24symbols has been chosen by Facebook to join its Internet.org initiative, which means that the reading app will be included in a package that selected telcos will start to distribute in developing countries in the near future. The first country in which 24symbols will be launched through this partnership will be in Colombia, in an event led by Facebook’s CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg that is taking place today.
This announcement comes at an interesting time, given Zuckerberg’s public intentions to start reading more books. Will he do so using 24symbols?
24symbols will also join Facebook’s startup accelerator
The links between the Spanish company and Facebook don’t end here, as 24symbols has also been chosen by the social media giant to join its recently launched FbStart accelerator program. Facebook describes this initiative as a way “to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps”. How? Via mentorship and also by providing startups such as 24symbols with $60,000 worth of services from companies such as Parse, Stripe, MailChimp Braintree or Adobe.
In a phone conversation with Novobrief, 24symbols’ CEO Aitor Grandes says that the value is not only monetary, since Facebook’s expertise will help the company refine its product and, hopefully, increase its reach. “I honestly believe Facebook wants to become the new Amazon of books”, he says.
As we’ve covered in the past, part of 24symbols’ current team has moved to New York to expand the company’s operations in the country, where competitors such as Scribd or Oyster Books have recently raised massive rounds of financing.
In theory, 24symbols couldn’t have asked for a better partner to get its foot in the US market. Internet.org only applies to developing economies and FbStart has -no pun intended- just started, but who knows where this agreement will take 24symbols and how deep the relationship with Facebook will be in the future.