Melbourne start-up Booki.sh has been acquired by US-based eBook distributor OverDrive for an undisclosed sum, with Booki.sh continuing to operate under its original name.
Booki.sh is the developer of a cloud-based platform for distributing, selling and reading eBooks.
Booki.sh uses HTML5 to make titles available via the customer’s web browser rather than requiring them to install apps.
It was founded in 2010 by Joseph Pearson, Virginia Murdoch and Peter Haasz, all of whom will join OverDrive from their existing offices in Melbourne to expand OverDrive’s publishing, library and school initiatives.
Based in Cleveland in the US, OverDrive is a global distributor of eBooks and audio books.
In a bid to leverage Booki.sh’s browser-based platform, OverDrive will expand the Booki.sh distribution platform and digital bookstore platforms.
It will also integrate Booki.sh HTML5 and EPUB reading technologies into OverDrive library and school services.
Haasz says Booki.sh couldn’t have hoped for a better partner than OverDrive.
“Working together means we can continue to innovate and improve upon the services we provide to Australian readers, publishers and booksellers, while for the first time taking our world-leading Australian technology to a global reading audience,” he says.
While there are no immediate changes for Booki.sh’s bookselling partners, Haasz says there will be changes over time as Booki.sh receives more resources and investment from OverDrive.
“It’s about the scalability and sustainability of what we are already doing,” Haasz says.
Haasz says Booki.sh is excited about the opportunities that will open up as a result of the acquisition, identifying school and library supply as “an area of future opportunity”.
He says one of the most appealing outcomes of the deal is that OverDrive is committed to Booki.sh maintaining its independence, as seen in the decision to leave Booki.sh in Melbourne.
According to OverDrive chief executive Steve Potash, Booki.sh has created “a fresh, direct and immersive reading experience that uniquely serves the mission of our libraries and schools”.
“Their innovative technologies streamline the access and convenience of eBooks.” Potash said in a statement.
“[These technologies] will help shape how millions of readers and students enjoy eBooks from OverDrive’s network of thousands of libraries, schools and booksellers in over 20 countries.”