Kobo acquires Shelfie
Back in January, Shelfie announced its demise. Although driven by an interesting and innovative concept, this ebook bundling platform simply did not find its place on the market. Back then, the company's founder told The Digital Reader that "the unit economics of ebook sales just don't make much sense if you don't own the platform like Apple, Google, or Amazon." Luckily for him, Kobo has decided to rescue the troubled startup.
Shelfie allowed its customers to easily grab ebook versions of their physical books, sometimes even offering them for free. Since shutting down Shelfie would also imply the demise of the company's DRM servers, its customers were expecting to lose their digital book collections. Fortunately, Kobo acquired Shelfie, so the existing libraries will simply be transferred to the Kobo ecosystem. In the future, Kobo also plans to add bookshelf-scanning features to its apps for iOS and Android.
Before going down, Shelfie had a library of over 450,000 ebooks and audiobooks. According to Kobo's CEO, "This acquisition will allow us to expand our ecosystem by incorporating Shelfie’s innovative advances in book recommendation, discovery, and bundling, which is especially interesting considering our large network of bricks-and-mortar bookselling partners."