Kobo, the eBook seller that is backed by Indigo Books & Music, Borders, REDgroup Retail, Cheung Kong Holdings, and other leaders in technology and retail has just raised a new round of funding from an “institutional investor”.
Without disclosing specifics, Kobo said that Indigo Books & Music – Canadian books retailer – was part of the funding round and the biggest shareholder. The funds will be used for “international expansion with new distribution partners, support for a wide range of languages and the world’s best content.”
Borders declared bankruptcy last month and is not a participant of this venture. Kobo is often associated with Borders since it invested in Kobo in December 2009. Borders’ retail stores sell the Kobo eReader which is vital to the Borders’ eBook store. Since the company filed bankruptcy, Kobo has been showing itself independent of Borders’ performance and insisting that the retailer contributed to only a small part of its revenue.
Kobo has almost 2.3 million eBooks in its store that can be accessed via its mobile app, Kobo eReader, and other digital readers such as Sony Reader. Till date, the company has 2.7 million subscribers across the globe.
Year end of 2010 Kobo launched an update to its app on iOS allowing iPad and iPhone users to reach “reading milestones” and unlock “achievement based badges” – an innovative addition that has been very successful. Kobo hopes to bring these features to new partners, platforms and languages this year.