Oyster, a startup that offers offers unlimited access to its collection of e-books for $9.99 per month, has crossed a nice milestone — it says its library now includes 500,000 books, compared to 100,000 when it launched in September of last year.

The company also said it recently expanded its partnership with HarperCollins, bringing 10,000 more of the publisher’s titles (including Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and American Gods by Neil Gaiman) into Oyster. And it has signed new deals with publishers including McSweeney’s, Chronicle Books, Grove Atlantic, and Wiley.


If you only focus on the multi-billion dollar valuations of young companies like Pinterest, Uber and Snapchat, you might assume 2013 has been a very good year for tech startups. In reality, it has been more of a bittersweet year.

Many early-stage companies struggled to raise a Series A rounds of funding, a phenomenon commonly referred to as the "Series A Crunch," which for some meant to fight for their survival. Meanwhile, several later-stage companies like Fab and Rdio laid off large portions of their staff to rein in costs.

Even so, plenty of promising startups raised funds and launched (or teased) exciting features this year in markets ranging from mobile payments to media. What's more, the success of Twitter's IPO has boosted investor interest in other social startups and may help revive the market for tech IPOs, which suffered after Facebook's troubled public offering in 2012.

Published in Features