From the press release:

Kobo, the global leader in eReading has closed a $50 Million investment round led by a leading institutional investor. Existing investors also participated in the round; investing $13M.
“Kobo will use the new funding to continue it’s explosive growth internationally,” said Greg Twinney, CFO of Kobo. “As the eReading space continues to heat up, Kobo is committed to providing an innovative experience that lets consumers read anytime, anyplace and share their love of reading with friends.”

Kobo kicked off its European expansion last week, with the announcement of its plans to launch local content stores in Germany – the largest book market outside of the US – and Spain starting in May 2011. Local stores for France, Italy and the Netherlands will follow this summer – an industry first. In providing local content and reading experiences for European readers, Kobo continues to build on the vision of giving people around the world the freedom to read on any device, and share their love of reading with friends.

Starting today, consumers can buy the highly anticipated BlackBerry® PlayBook™ which comes pre-loaded with the Kobo eReading app – in leading retailers across the US and Canada. RIM selected Kobo as its strategic eReading partner, given its ability to service customers around the globe.


  1. Good for them! They have done really interesting stuff with local partnerships, such as soliciting the publishers of the Giller-shortlisted books to get ebook editions made of their nominated titles. I remember when the winning book was out of stock in every bricks and mortar store because its publisher hand-bound each copy, and the Kobo e-version was the only way to read it—and was outselling the Booker winner, to boot.

    Kobo may seem like small potatoes to the American market given the perceived dominance of Amazon/Sony/B&N but I think a lot of people forget that those alleged behemoths are much less significant players in non-US markets. The Sony Canada store is an absolute wasteland for the non-American, B&N won’t sell to us at all, and Amazon is an option, but—with its lack of coupon codes and list prices in US dollars—consistently more expensive than the Kobo listings. Kobo is going to win itself a nice little niche of the market on the strength of its local partnerships and its recognition that the world wide web extends beyond the USA 🙂

  2. When Amazon announced the KSO I decided to experiment with different devices, so I bought a Kobo at a Borders going out of business sale. My first purchase from Kobo resulted in a poorly formatted ebook. Their customer service replied quickly with the statement that formatting comes from the publisher and they don’t modify files, but they passed on my complait. (No reply from the publisher.) End result:I own a book with poor formatting that I’m not going to read on my Kobo device.

    I next tried a library book. It load on my Kobo fine, but the margins were really wide with only a few words per line. The next library book had the same kind of wide margins. I later learned that the problem is with EPUB setting the margins loaded by Adobe Digital Editions. According to a forum posting, the only fix is stripping out the DRM. I’m not ready to go there. End result: I check out two library books I’m not going to read on my Kobo device.

    I hope Kobo will take some this windfall to help reduce these kinds of errors in the future.

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