Earlier today Kobo announced the acquisition of digital publishing tech firm Aquafadas. The French owned company provides a content provision platform that will give Kobo access to a wide breadth of media; academic, magazines, comics and children’s books via Aquafadas content creation tools for publishers.
These design tools afford the content providers the ability to export their work in ePub 3 formats allowing them to be viewed on most known forms of eBook reader devices and apps (e.g. Amazon, Google, iBookstore and the Web). Comparable to iBooks Author software, Aquafadas plugins for InDesign (available on both Mac and Windows), enables content providers to create apps and ebooks without the need of code. It also allows the user to preview their works on-screen prior publication.
The terms of the deal were undisclosed, though they would seemingly be favourable as Aquafadas CEO, Michael Serbinis enthused, “This is a very exciting day for both Kobo and Aquafadas- 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.”
This acquisition if proven fruitful could help establish Kobo as another viable option for self-publishing, securing Kobo’s position as an alternative to Amazon’s Kindle and Apple's iBookstore. Indeed, our Kobo Glo eBook reader review showed it was a device to be taken seriously, picking up a score of nine out of 10 and a best buy recommendation in the process.
Kobo also announced that it was expanding its Kobo Writing Life self-publishing platform to accept submissions in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch (with further languages to be added at a future date).