Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rakuten to Acquire Kobo for $315MM

Last week we announced a major milestone in Kobo's short history.

In just a matter of 23 months, we have built a substantial business with nearly 6 million readers in 100+ countries, one of the world's biggest bookstores, a family of eReaders, top rated apps and strong partners in North America, Europe and APAC. Sales have been pretty amazing also, with growth outpacing the industry.

It has been a true David vs Goliath story to build a global leader in eReading.

To help accelerate our growth, we announced that Rakuten would be acquiring Kobo for $315MM. Rakuten and Kobo are a perfect fit, and we share a common vision.

Rakuten is one of the largest ecommerce & internet service companies in the world, based in Japan, with over 50MM customers and a global footprint. Rakuten has been expanding with acquisitions in the US, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, UK, France, Germany and investments in Russia. With Rakuten's financial support, ecommerce expertise and international reach, I am confident we can achieve our objectives and realize our vision.

Kobo will remain headquartered in Toronto, and I will continue to be CEO. Together with the Kobo management team, we look forward to taking our business to the next level with our global partners, providing new exciting innovations for our customers, and expanding into new categories and countries.

While this remains a David vs Goliath story, Kobo now has a Goliath at it's back :)

I look forward on writing more about this over the coming weeks, especially highlighting the key members of the Kobo team that have worked tirelessly, sweating Kobo blood for all that we've achieved. They are the real "slingshots" in this awesome story.

More information on this announcement can be found here: