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Investors give cloud PDF venture a notable boost

Notable PDF, the new iteration of a PDF app first developed for students to share and collaborate on lecture notes, has closed a second funding round and plans to launch a third.

Notable PDF now targets a broad range of users who want to edit and annotate PDFs and is accessed as a Chrome extension or via various browsers.

Twenty-something entrepreneurs Alliv Samson, Hengjie Wang and Jordan Thoms dreamed up the venture while studying together at the University of Auckland and entered the original version of Notable in the university’s $100k Spark Challenge in 2012, making the finals.

But a change of direction has seen them find new and potentially lucrative markets.

“We’d been getting requests from users to open up to all sorts of users, not just students,” says Samson.

Notable PDF lets users limit who views the document, add notes in a text layer on top of the PDF, highlight text and format it. Users can also sync their documents with cloud storage platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive.

Notable PDF is free but also offers packages for enterprises and schools and a premium option.

The venture now has 120,000 users and has found a big market among US schools that are rolling out Google’s Chromebook devices, for which there’s a limited range of apps.

80% of the users are US-based and the user base is doubling each month, Samson says. She didn’t reveal how much investment the trio had secured, but its second round was made up of existing investors including Hopscale, and a new investor, the Flying Kiwis Angels group.

The team hopes for a third funding round offshore in coming months.

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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