Now with a little less clout behind it, thanks to Borders’ bankruptcy, global eReading service Kobo still clearly has the capacity to get investors on board. Kobo received its Series C investment in part from Indigo Books & Music Inc., which remains the company’s majority owner.
TORONTO–Kobo, a global eReading service built on open standards, today confirmed the closing of its Series C investment round, led by a major institutional investor. Indigo Books & Music Inc., Kobo’s founding shareholder, invested in this round and maintains majority ownership.
“In 2010, we learned that an open platform and the ability to read on any device enabled a massive population of readers to easily get started with eBooks. Pioneering this open approach, Kobo has quickly become the partner of choice for retailers, operators, and tablet OEMs”
The new funding will support Kobo’s growth in the multibillion dollar global eReading market through continued product innovation in the eReading experience and international expansion with new distribution partners, support for a wide range of languages and the world’s best content.
Highlights from Kobo’s first 14 months:
2.3 Million eBooks – Kobo has built one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world
2.7 Million Users – Kobo’s base is growing rapidly: 10 months to 1 million, less than 90 days to 2 million
Customers from over 100 Countries buy from Kobo every week
Hundreds of thousands of eBooks downloaded per day during peak holiday periods
With leading OEMs including Samsung, Research In Motion and HTC choosing Kobo as their global eReading platform, over 20 Million Kobo-ready devices will be in market in 2011
The Kobo eReader is available at thousands of retail outlets including Walmart (US & Canada), Borders (US), Indigo (Canada), Best Buy (Canada), Angus & Robertsons (AU), Whitcoull’s (NZ), WHSMITH (UK), Swindon (Hong Kong)
Kobo led the industry with many firsts – first on Android, first on Playbook, first to launch eBook gifting and first to launch a comprehensive social experience for eReading
“In 2010, we learned that an open platform and the ability to read on any device enabled a massive population of readers to easily get started with eBooks. Pioneering this open approach, Kobo has quickly become the partner of choice for retailers, operators, and tablet OEMs,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. “With a foundation firmly in place, in 2011 we will accelerate our focus on creating the best eReading experience for customers, and expanding internationally with new partners, content and languages.”
eReading is Going Social
Kobo’s recently-announced and innovative Kobo Reading Life, a core part of the Kobo experience now available on the iPad and the iPhone, marked the industry’s first comprehensive social eReading experience. Nearly all of Kobo’s iPad and iPhone users have started using Reading Life and to date, over 1 million achievements have been awarded to loyal readers everywhere. Kobo has seen a dramatic increase in users’ reading time and overall engagement since the launch in December. Kobo plans to roll out new innovative features for Reading Life, and bring the program to new partners, platforms, and languages throughout 2011.
About Kobo, Inc.
Kobo is a global eReading service with more than 2.3 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers – one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world. Kobo believes consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device and has attracted millions of readers from over 100 countries across the globe. Kobo has top ranked eReading applications for iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm WebOS, Windows, MacOS and is the eReading application of choice for leading tablet OEMs. The Kobo eReader is also available at leading retailers including Indigo, Walmart, Best Buy, Borders, WHSmith, Angus & Robertson’s, and Whitcoull’s. For more information visit Kobo.com