Streaming service for educational books Perlego has announced that it has closed a Series A fundraising round at a total of £7m ($9m).

The round brought with it new investors including Charlie Songhurst, Dedicated VC and Thomas Leysen (Chairman of Mediahuis and Umicore).

Further financing was also contributed on a pro-rata basis by Perlego’s existing investors including ADV, Simon Franks and Alex Chesterman.

The funding will be used to develop its book-based platform with new features, and content libraries in non-English languages to facilitate its expansion into the European market.

The firm provides access to over 250,000 eBooks, from over 2,300 publishers, cross-device and in multiple languages and now includes content from publishers in Germany, the Nordics and Italy.

Outside of the academic sector, 30 per cent of its users are professionals, which the firm said indicated an opportunity to scale its platform beyond formal education.

Perlego said the price of textbooks has increased by over 847 per cent since 1978, or three times the rate of inflation. The increase sees students paying an average of £400 per year for textbooks, while the Perlego platform costs £12 per month or £144 per year.

Speaking on the investment, Gauthier Van Malderen, co-founder and CEO at Perlego said: “Learning should be accessible for all, but unfortunately, the economics of the publishing industry means that this isn’t always possible.

“Our platform widens access to educational materials at an affordable rate while concurrently driving profitability for the publishing sector. This means that more people will be able to enjoy the opportunities afforded to them by education.”

Richard Howells, Director of International Sales & Marketing at Harvard University Press, added: “Harvard University Press is pleased to be partnering with Perlego which we see as an exciting and innovative new digital model for both publishers and students.

“Providing breadth of content and convenience of access, they are engaging a whole new segment of the market, with a competitive offer. We look forward to taking this partnership forward.”