Oslo-based Norwegian e-paper tablet “reMarkable” recently announced a new round of funding at a $1 billion valuation but declined to name the investment amount and investors. The company currently employs more than 300 people and remains “primarily employee-owned.”
The company’s mainstay is a minimally designed, versatile electronic tablet that sells for $299. They claimed to have sold 1 million devices since 2017 and to have an operating profit of more than $31 million in 2021, well above its 2020 profit of about $10 million.
Founder and CEO Magnus Wanberg said the funding was actually agreed to last year, but the company is announcing it now as a “positive signal to the market” that the company is doing well. He also revealed that Spark has led a $15 million funding round into the company in 2019 and remains one of the company’s shareholders.
Wanberg believes much of the company’s success to date is due to its focus. In an interview, he said, “We see the future of tablet PCs in the research and development direction of Apple, Microsoft and other companies – gradually integrating the features of laptops and tablets to complement smartphones.
“reMarkable” tries its best to simulate the writing feeling of paper. Compared to writing with the Apple Pencil on the iPad’s glass screen, the sound and touch of “reMarkable’s” capacitive pen on the screen is closer to that of paper.
The company’s business model, which initially focused on selling hardware, now has “hundreds of thousands” of users. The company launched its second-generation tablet in 2020 and introduced a subscription service called “Connect” last October. Features include software updates, cloud storage, connectivity to platforms such as Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, extended warranty, handwriting conversion, screen sharing, emailing files and more.
In other words, “Connect” allows the tablet to send and receive information just like a regular tablet. The service is billed monthly and costs $7.99/month for the regular version and $4.99/month for the light version. Wanberg declined to say how many users or revenue the subscription service currently has, but said, “The feedback has been excellent.”
According to research data from GIR (Global Info Research), global tablet device revenue will be about $1,083.8 million in 2021 and is expected to reach $2,264.5 million in 2028.