Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kobo acquires French digital publishing platform Aquafadas

In an interesting move into the digital publishing production market, Kobo, the Toronto based eReader company, best known for its association with Borders, has acquired Aquafadas, a French digital publishing platform.

This is a very exciting day for both Kobo and Aquafadas,"said Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis, in the company's announcement. "Digital Reading is rapidly evolving now to new rich media categories. This transaction will strengthen both Kobo’s and Aquafadas position in our current markets and allow us to accelerate the growth of rich media with the Aquafadas Digital Publishing system."

The Aquafadas system is similar to Mag+ in that it involves an InDesign plug-in. But today's announcement put eBooks front and center.

Kobo is in a far weaker position than Apple, Google, Amazon or Barnes & Noble's NOOK platforms. But today's move has international implications, and serves to diversify the company. (Kobo also announced today that its self-publishing platform, Kobo Writing Life, will now be available in German, French, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch, in addition to English.)

Users of the Aquafadas system would naturally want to know if their platform will continue to be available.

"Thanks to this acquisition, publishers who use Aquafadas Publishing System will benefit from an easy, scalable, solution that will provide access to a new distribution channel in addition to other channels: Kobo’s platform and its 10 million registered users," said Aquafadas CEO Claudia Zimmer. "We will benefit significantly from this partnership and amp up development to deliver more innovative tools. By working together to further enhance the Kobo product line-up the creation of rich-media content, Kobo and Aquafadas will take digital reading to a new level."

(I found it interesting that Aquafadas did not send out a notice to its users this morning about this acquisition, though the company is featuring the news on its website.)