First investment

1 September 2013





Movellas is a creative story sharing community for teenagers with over 85,000 free stories available to read online, all written by teens for teens. It encourages young people to create their own short stories, and engage with others to give feedback on their ideas. By creating a community of exclusively teenage writers Movellas aims to improve literacy skills, and increase enjoyment of both reading and writing.

Impact Objective: Increase children and young people’s education attainment

Since it launched in 2012 Movellas has rapidly become popular with teenagers in the UK; it currently has over 200,000 unique users per month and plans to double this over the next six months. Several of its young writers have now secured publishing deals. Its ambition is to be the leading, global, platform for social story telling for teenagers, who can access it at any time via their phone, tablet or computer.

Alix started writing on Movellas nearly two years ago and is now a regular blogger for the Huffington Post: “Before Movellas I would write for the sake of it, thinking that I was rubbish, and knowing that if anyone ever read what I wrote, I would move to a different country. Now, my confidence has risen by a mile and I now write with a purpose, knowing that on Movellas there will always be someone to read my work and support me.”

Nesta Impact Investments believes Movellas marks a significant shift in the approach to improving literacy amongst young people. England is the only country in the developed world where 16- to 24-year-olds have lower levels of literacy and numeracy than their grandparents, according to a recent OECD survey.

Yvonne Biggins, co-founder of Movellas says: “We’ve been able to get young people interested in reading and writing through their passions for a wide range of subjects. Over five million stories were opened last month by more than 200,000 teenagers across our site and apps. We know from independent research and our own studies that reading for pleasure has a positive impact on attainment and we’re excited about the role that Movellas is playing in getting more and more young people engaged in reading and writing, leading to a more literate society.”

Movellas unique social media platform and potential for growth made it a very attractive investment, especially as it has a team that is committed to making a real and lasting social impact. Katie Mountain from Nesta Impact Investments says: “Reading and writing are such important lifelong skills to develop. We see potential in Movellas to improve the literacy skills of young people in the UK by engaging them in fun and exciting ways to read and write. We are pleased to be working with the talented team at Movellas to grow the platform and reach as many teenagers as possible.”

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