MAIN NEWS HEADLINES
December 17 – 24, 2009 Edition
Borders Invests in Kobo eReading Site
TORONTO, ON/AUTHORLINK NEWS/December 18, 2009 On the success of its millionth download, Shortcovers this week announced it has raised $16 million CAD from a group of investors which includes Borders Group., Inc, majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music, Inc., Instant Fame, a subsidiary of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd., and REDgroup Retail Pty Ltd.
Short Covers has formally spun out from parent company Indigo Books & Music and will now operate under the name Kobo, Inc. with its retail website at www.kobobooks.com
We have assembled a strong syndicate of investors and partners across key categories – retail and mobile distribution. We have a unique opportunity to power the eReading revolution by reaching consumers everywhere they shop today, on any device they choose, said Michael Serbinis, Chief Executive Officer of Kobo.
According to Forrester Research, Inc., eBook content sales are up 176 percent in 2009 and in 2010 are expected to top $500 million in the U.S. alone. Forrester also sees a global eBook opportunity based on a recent Forrester survey of consumers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Today, Kobos eReading service includes support for leading smartphones, desktops and dedicated eReaders. Since inception in February 2009, while operating as Shortcovers, more than one million eReading apps have been downloaded by users from over 200 countries worldwide. Kobo will extend its platform by launching additional smartphone support, desktop and tablet apps, and its own dedicated eReader devices.
Kobo has relationships with thousands of publishers and is actively adding book, newspaper and magazine publishers worldwide. With the announcement of a strategic partnership with the Internet Archive, Kobos catalog of digital content will give users access to over two million books, with bestsellers starting at US$9.99 and over 1.8 million free books.
Through its new strategic partners, Kobo has distribution in the U.S., Canada, UK, European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and other territories. Core to Kobos strategy is making eReading available through partners everywhere and as such, the company will be working to enable a broad range of retailers, device manufacturers, and operators who will benefit from our leading eReading service.
Our vision for a digital strategy thats right for Borders is taking shape today through our investment in Kobo, said Borders Group Chief Executive Officer Ron Marshall. Powered by Kobo, well launch a new eBook store on Borders.com and make Borders-branded mobile applications available to our customers, including our 35 million Borders Rewards loyalty program members. Borders shares Kobos vision to provide any eBook on any device and we look forward to working closely with Kobo on content and distribution.
About Kobo, Inc.
Kobo is a global eReading service backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music, Borders Group, REDgroup Retail, and Cheung Kong Holdings.
About Indigo Books & Music Inc.
Indigo is a publicly traded Canadian company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (IDG). As the largest book and specialty retailer in Canada, Indigo operates in all provinces under different banners including Indigo Books & Music; Indigo Books, Gifts, Kids; IndigoSpirit, Chapters, The World’s Biggest Bookstore, and Coles.
About Borders Group
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE: BGP) is a leading specialty retailer of books as well as other educational and entertainment items. The company employs approximately 25,000 throughout the U.S., primarily in its Borders® and Waldenbooks® stores. Online shopping is offered through borders.com. Find author interviews and vibrant discussions of the products we and our customers are passionate about online at facebook.com/borders, twitter.com/borders and youtube.com/bordersmedia. For more information about the company, visit borders.com/media.