Investing in Styla: German magazine publishing startup wins over VCs

The business had already won investment from prominent VCs and angel investors; its innovative technology recognised as the first to fully automate the process of creating beautiful print-style magazines online.

Launched in 2012 by entrepreneurs Philipp Rogge and Franz Riedl, Styla’s layout engine does not require any design, formatting, or development work. The system allows anyone to create an online magazine in minutes.

Rogge and Riedl had extensive digital and startup experience, having previously built companies in the web space. Creating Styla involved 18 months of building, testing and iterating on magazine creation.

“We built many prototypes tested them, threw them away, got back to building and then finally had a product that was good enough for launch. Our first client went live in January 2014,” says Rogge.

Today their client base totals 40.

The pair launched Styla softly as a B2C platform with the aim of getting bloggers to write in magazine instead of blog-style.

However, a few months into development they were approached by publishing and ecommerce clients requesting quotes for a white-labling of this software.

“It became clear to us very quickly, that instead of taking the risk of building an own community, we would win the market much quicker and monetise much faster by licensing our technology and shipping it out to businesses in a SaaS model,” explains Riedl.


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