Inkling, a multimedia publishing platform, has laid off about 25% of its workforce after refocusing its business model from consumer e-book sales to a business enterprise model. The layoffs are concentrated in Inkling’s consumer business.
Although the company did not give the exact number of layoffs, an Inkling spokesperson told PW the company has about 80 employees after the layoffs and that number will climb to about 85 this week after recent hires start working. Inking also continues to hire engineers, product managers, sales staff, and implementation management in support of its enterprise business.
Originally focused on creating retail opportunities for multimedia-enriched e-books both through web searches and via the Inkling Marketplace, Inkling has since evolved into a platform for big educational publishers looking to produce thousands of media-rich digital titles often coupled with underlying adaptive learning technologies. The company recently announced enterprise deals with Wolters Kluver and McGraw-Hill to create digital/print bundles and next-gen educational content, respectively.
“We began building digital books for publishers and sourcing our revenue from sales within our marketplace or through iTunes,” according Kristina Skinner, an Inkling spokesperspon. “But this content production process (hand-coding books) and the revenue model were not going to allow us to scale a business," she explained. “We saw educational companies were developing adaptive learning platforms, search databases for reference materials and much more sophisticated beyond-the book kinds of products.” Inkling has since pivoted its services toward restructuring itself as a B2B enterprise model and “licensing our software (Inkling Habitat) to publishers.”
“This business model would allow us to scale much more quickly,” she said, pointing to the company’s focus on “reinventing how content is structured, delivered and consumed on mobile devices.”
Inkling’s consumer content partners continue to sell content through the Inkling Marketplace. “Existing users will continue to receive support for the forseeable future,” she said, but emphasized that “the majority of our R&D focus going forward, however, will be on serving our enterprise customers.”