With continued aggressive expansion Kobo evolves from young ebook
upstart to global leader
TORONTO, June 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Kobo Inc. a global leader in eReading, today announced triple digit growth,
growing eBook downloads by 400 percent, eReader sales by 160 percent,
and eReaders by 280 percent year-over-year, cementing its competitive
position for an aggressive year of expansion. Kobo's success during its
short history demonstrates its winning partnership "playbook" for
booksellers and retailers as the eReading industry gains momentum
around the world.
"We're thrilled to introduce Kobo's open eReading platform and the Kobo
'Read Freely' philosophy to new countries around the world," says
Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. "It's become increasingly clear that the
world of eReading is the way of the future and as technology continues
to break down geographic borders, Kobo is excited to lead the charge
into new markets and continue to shape the future of the multi-billion
dollar eReading industry."
Kobo has established itself as a major player in eReading since its
beginning just 28 months ago, with over 8-million registered users2 in 190 countries activating Kobo accounts, downloading free Kobo
eReading apps for tablets, desktop computers and smartphones, and
purchasing Kobo eReaders and eBooks.
Today's announcement comes on the heels of a string of successes for the
company. Recent highlights include:
The high-profile acquisition by Rakuten, the world's third-largest
e-commerce company, offering unparalleled opportunities to extend
Kobo's reach through some of the world's largest international
e-commerce companies including Buy.com and Play.com.
The number of people reading with Kobo Internationally has grown by 280
eBook downloads increased almost 400 percent3
Kobo eReader device sales increased over 160 percent from the previous
Kobo surpassed 2.5-million titles with 1-million free books and books in
60 languages represented in its content catalogue. Kobo recently
partnered with the McClatchy Group, Dark Horse Comics and Trajectory
Classics Illustrated to bring readers the latest comic, graphic novels,
newspapers, as well as the hottest titles.
Kobo's employee base has more than doubled since January 2012, with
growth in Canada, the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom,
Germany, Australia, Luxembourg, and France
"Strong eReader growth is projected by IDC for the European market; with
sales increasing over 400% to 9.6-million devices expected in market by
2015. We expect Kobo's trajectory for international growth and user
adoption to quickly meet and exceed market projections," said Serbinis.
"We have set the standard for helping our consumers engage in reading
in new and meaningful ways, while delivering on our promise to help
retailers, authors and publishers take advantage of this emerging
market. In two years, we've done what others couldn't in ten."
Kobo continues to build on its current International success with plans
to bring its award-winning eReading services to the global stage.
Through its relationship with Rakuten, the company will be launching in
Japan, with subsequent launches planned for Portugal, Spain, Italy,
with more launches to follow. These markets have distinct needs for
digital reading and Kobo intends to provide access in regions where
printed books are inaccessible and where electronic devices can be more
As the partner-of-choice, Kobo continues to build a successful formula
for its partners by providing the business development and marketing
tools to successfully deliver eReading to their customers - through its
track record of success in bringing eReading to new markets, Kobo will
be welcomed into more regions this year as it continues to expand its
leadership position around the world.
Successfully entered into the UK market with premier retailer WHSmith
resulting in a strong launch and ongoing growth. Kobo and WHSmith
recently announced they will be launching 100 Kobo Shops within the
retailer's High Street store locations. Along with WHSmith, Kobo is
available in Dixons, Asda, Staples, Play.com, Sainsburys, Buy.com, John
Lewis, Argos and Harvey Norman.
Launched with leading bookseller Libris Blz. in March, driving
significant share gains and becoming the first company to introduce
social eReading to The Netherlands. Offering the strongest localized
catalogue, Kobo has grown Dutch titles over 500 percent to date. In
addition to Libris Blz., Kobo is partnered with Media Markt, Saturn,
Redcoon, Informatique Wehkamp and Neckermann.
Rated one of the top ranked eReaders by Computer Bild, Germany's largest
technology magazine, Kobo devices continue to drive sales for Kobo
partners. With more than 30 percent of customers purchasing eBooks in
two or more languages, the market continues to embrace Kobo's
international catalogue including one of the largest and rapidly
growing selections of German eBooks. Along with Redcoon, Kobo is
aligned with Media Markt, Saturn, Electronic Partner, Euronics,
MediMax, Expert, Buy.com, Notebooksbillinger.de and Pcspezialist.de.
Six months after launching with retail giant Fnac and securing a
leadership position, Kobo leads the market as the top eReader in
France. Recently recognized for its user-friendly design and aesthetic
appeal, the Kobo Touch™ eReader received the "Janus de l'Industrie"
award from the renowned French Institute of Design. Along with Fnac,
Kobo is partnered with Buy.com and PriceMinister.com
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
Partnering with booksellers Borders and Whitcoull's in 2010, Kobo has
since expanded its market leadership through new distribution partners
including Collins, JB-Hifi and Officeworks.
Come and visit Kobo onsite at Book Expo America (BEA) in New York this week at booth #3948. To meet with a Kobo executive, please email Kobo's Public Relations
team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Kobo, Inc.
Kobo Inc. is one of the world's fastest-growing eReading services
offering more than 2.5 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers- and
counting. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any
book on any device, Kobo has built an open-standards platform to
provide consumers with a choice when reading. Inspired by a "Read
Freely" philosophy and a passion for innovation, Kobo has expanded to
nearly 200 countries, where millions of consumers have access to
localized eBook catalogues and award-winning eReaders, like the Kobo
Touch. With top-ranked eReading applications for Apple, BlackBerry,
Android, and Windows products, Kobo allows consumers to make eReading
social through Facebook Timeline and Reading Life, an industry-first
social experience that lets users to earn awards for time spent reading
and encouraging others to join in. Headquartered in Toronto and owned
by Tokyo-based Rakuten, Kobo eReaders can be found in major retail
chains across the globe.
For more information, visit www.kobo.com.
SOURCE Kobo Inc.
For further information:
Rene Samulewitsch - 416-644-2287
High Road Communications, on behalf of Kobo Inc.,