Issuu: The Leading Digital Publishing Service
In the era of super-advanced technology, digital publishing platforms have become an essential need for ventures looking to find their place in the online market.
Fifteen years ago, a group of Danish enthusiasts - Michael Hansen, Ruben Bjerg Hansen, Martin Ferro-Thomsen, and Mikkel Jensen - craved to give digital publishing a bigger business role by developing an all-in-one tool that meets’ the publishing market’s need for online content creation.
The fruit of their labor, Issuu, represents an electronic publishing platform that revamps digital content publication - from magazines, ebooks, and catalogs to digital libraries and PDF content.
Essentially, Issuu is a unique media company that allows businesses to distribute and publish online content both globally and faster than ever before!
Dedicated to teachers, educators, learners, and readers, dive deep into the journey of 4 Danish entrepreneurs who overcame every hurdle in the way to ultimately give digitally published content a whole new essence!
Michael and Friends
Michael Hansen was born and raised in a modest family, living in a small town in Denmark, called Kobmagergade. His parents were a humble pair who tried to teach their son the core values of life - working hard, never giving up, and chasing after your dreams. Along with nurturing a career dream, Michael’s parents wanted their son to also learn that the path to success is not all rainbows and that it takes non-shattering ambition and persistence to achieve one’s goals.
When Michael was still a youngster, he started to read countless books on science, physics, mathematics, innovations, and business. Out of all niches read, Michael took the most interest in the field of technology. Namely, Michael found technology to be quite an impressive business tool to rely on and loved the way its everyday improvement made an impact on both society and all market industries.
Aside from tech, Michael also took a special interest in innovations, which led him to join the University of Aarhus, a well-known research and science faculty.
Between 1991 and 1997, Michael acquired immense knowledge and education on the physical, mathematical, and technological aspects of business, and was one of the most successful students of his class. At university, Michael made various valuable connections, including the friendship he sparked up with four minds as brilliant as his - Ruben, Martin, and Mikkel.
All tech geeks and ambitious pursuers at heart, Martin, Mikkel, Ruben, and Michael realized that, apart from their unbreakable friendship, they also shared the same business vision, which would ultimately give birth to one of the most prominent platforms in the tech world.
Thrice the Skills
Ruben Bjerg Hansen had always strived to expand his technological knowledge and make a contribution to the world of visual communication and information. Although born and raised in Denmark, Ruben decided to pursue and obtain an international degree at the Ravensbourne University of London.
Following his graduation, Ruben went back to his homeland to enroll at Designskolen Kolding and further enrich his professional knowledge. With an entrepreneurial mindset and significant designer skills, Ruben was looking forward to creating the kinds of platforms that would contribute to the industries’ greater good.
Out of the four inventors, Martin Ferro-Thomsen was the most artistic. He had always been fascinated by the amazing art surrounding him and loved every clever detail about its expressive ways. Art was actually one of the most important reasons why Martin went to study at Københavns Universitet of Copenhagen, where he specialized in art, literature, communication, media, organizational theory, and languages.
Far from being artsy, Mikkel Jensen had a natural knack for informatics, engineering, learning, and exploring computer software designs and machine learning. As a result of his tech-driven affinities, Mikkel enrolled at Aalborg University with the goal of acquiring a Bachelor’s degree in control engineering and arming himself with more business knowledge and practice.
All four shared the same passion for technology, digital publication, creative inventions, and media and were less than impressed with the way Danish businesses and publishers designed content and managed its printing and publishing process. Desperate for a change of pace within the industry, the four inventors began rethinking business strategies with a single goal in mind - to revive the digitalization of content and enforce the publication business like never before.
At a Crossroads
Despite their best efforts to contribute to the digitized content market, coming from a small town in Denmark and not having the funds or resources to kickstart their venture turned out to be a greater hassle than the team anticipated. To overcome the hurdle and break the way to innovation, the team of four waited until 2005 before they could actually make a major business move.
Seeing no other option, that same year, Michael would quit his temporary corporate job and instead help his friends in founding a digital platform that would meet all industry demands.
Out of their efforts came a prototype platform that would make a difference in the digital publishing world - Issuu!
Most of the work done around Issuu took place in Ruben’s small guest house in Kobmagergade, which he often used as an art studio. Stimulated by the vision of developing the best digital publishing platform, everyone in the Issuu team took their responsibilities seriously.
Whilst Ruben was in charge of designing the platform, Martin was responsible for communication, whereas Mikkel took care of programming the platform, and Michael developed the company’s business plan. The team’s first try in finding an investor failed, when a Chinese billionaire businessman failed to understand or support the platform’s purpose and concept.
Although massively disappointed, the foursome showed no signs of giving up and trusted that another, a more promising investor would come along - and that is exactly what happened next! After presenting the idea to a venture capital fund in Denmark, Issuu was ready to get back in the game - this time richer, better, and downright goal-oriented!
The Best Electronic Publishing Platform
The next step in the story of Issuu was to take on the business world! Officially founded and launched in 2006 in Copenhagen, Issuu delivered the kinds of digitized innovations the publishing world was starved for right out of the heart of Denmark.
Initially, Issuu’s inventors found it challenging to break on the market, especially given that the platform was new and relatively untrusted by clients. However, once the platform expanded onto the wider European market as well as the US, it captured the interest of countless ventures looking to turn their simple content into a digitized and business-optimized wonder that attracts readers, engages customers, and seizes the industry’s attention!
Issuu is an ultra-modern and sophisticated media company that lets any business distribute and upload publications online.
By using the platform, every customer can find a variety of published content, including ebooks, academic papers, newspapers, job portfolios, e-magazines - efficiently and in all categories imaginable. Countless clients have decided to put their trust in Issuu as the platform enables them wider content exposure, greater venture scaling, and the option to connect to users across all respective business fields and industries.
From 2006 to 2013, the platform was headquartered in Copenhagen. But, in 2013, Issuu made a great leap towards an even more groundbreaking success, when they moved office to Pato Alto, CA, to test the waters of the US market and introduce their latest publishing perks to digitized content creators overseas.
In over two rounds, Issuu has raised a total funding amount of $20.3 million, courtesy of their leading investors, KDDI Open Innovation Fund and Heartcore Capital. The platform manages 20,000 new publications daily, boasts around 45 million data documents, and generates over 100 million visitors.
It may have taken Issuu four masterminds to develop it to perfection, and a whole lot of issues to weather, but today, the platform stands as the ultimate all-in-one publisher that offers exponential digital content creation and publication - at the tips of everyone’s fingers!