Friday, December 18, 2009

Kobo Launches

This week is an exciting and long-anticipated one for us here at Kobo!

We renamed, rebranded from Shortcovers to Kobo, and launched a new web site and mobile apps early this morning. Kobo is an anagram of “book”, and a name that we think will resonate globally. Here is why that is important….

We’ve spent the past year assembling a group of investors that can offer the retail and mobile distribution channels needed to build a leading global eReading brand. Today marks a major shift in the global eReading landscape. We have a massive opportunity in front of us, and we look forward to Kobo powering eReading services everywhere.

Kobo is now officially a global eReading service backed by Indigo Books & Music, Borders (US), REDGroup Retail (AU), and Instant Fame, a subsidiary of Cheung Kong Holdings, a global investment conglomerate with interests in retail and telecommunications. Today, we raised $16M from our founding and majority shareholder, Indigo Books & Music and these leading partners who will also give us distribution on four continents by the end of 2010. Our vision is to deliver any book on any device, and we strongly believe that you as a customer should have choice.

You should choose Kobo, and here’s why:

  1. You can use any device – your smartphone, computer, tablet, eReader or any other device you choose. You can try it for free- without having to commit to buy an expensive device. As of today our free apps have been downloaded over 1M times…and still counting!
  2. We have over 2 million titles – with US$9.99 bestsellers and over 1.8M free titles.
  3. We are open standards based – we support open standards like ePub and you can buy from us and use on other devices, or software – not just ours!
  4. We are global – We have users in over 200 countries today. We will bring Kobo powered partners to market globally throughout 2010, so you can try eReading anywhere you shop today.

You can also count on continued, relentless innovation, at top speed. A number of advances are coming soon, including dedicated eReaders, newspapers & magazines, innovations in the reading experience and more. We expect to bring dedicated eReaders to our customers and partners starting in the first half of 2010 and will release more details soon.

We have a massive opportunity in front of us in a dynamic market, and with our partners we look forward to serving the eReading needs of customers everywhere.