August 30, 2015

Kobo Parent Acquires OverDrive

Leading library ebook distributor OverDrive was sold to Rakuten on March 19 for $410 million cash, more than 16 times OverDrive’s annual earnings of $25 million. The purchase from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority owner since 2010, is scheduled to close in April. OverDrive will become a subsidiary of Rakuten USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. CEO Steve Potash will continue to lead OverDrive, and its headquarters will remain in Cleveland, OH.

Kobo Parent Acquires OverDrive

Kobo Parent Acquires OverDrive

Leading library ebook distributor OverDrive was sold to Rakuten on March 19 for $410 million cash, more than 16 times OverDrive’s annual earnings of $25 million. The purchase from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority owner since 2010, is scheduled to close in April. OverDrive will become a subsidiary of Rakuten USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. CEO Steve Potash will continue to lead OverDrive, and its headquarters will remain in Cleveland, OH.

First Read

BY THE NUMBERS ReadersFirst now represents almost 300 libraries and 200 million readers

Finding and downloading ebooks from libraries can still be “complicated and cumbersome, involving many steps that do not always work,” but several key vendors have taken steps to streamline and simplify ebook access in recent months, according to the long-anticipated “ReadersFirst Guide to Library Ebook Vendors,” which was released in January.

ReadersFirst, Vendors Search for a New Lending Model

On a late rainy Monday afternoon at the end of the American Library Association’s Midwinter meeting, 39 leading librarians and library vendors gathered for about 90 minutes around a horseshoe-arrangement of tables on the fourth floor of the Seattle Public Library to discuss how to create a new lending experience. The group came together at […]

Top Libraries in U.S. and Canada Issue Statement Demanding Better Ebook Services

Over 70 library systems from the United States and Canada — including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Montreal, and Chicago — today issued a joint statement demanding vastly improved ebook services for library users.