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Rakuten Kobo Inc., or simply Kobo, is a Canadian company which sells e-books, audiobooks, e-readers and tablet computers
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Rakuten Kobo Inc., or simply Kobo, is a Canadian company which sells e-books, audiobooks, e-readers and tablet computers. It is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and is a subsidiary of the Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten. The name Kobo is an anagram of book. It originated as Shortcovers, a cloud e-reading service launched by the Canadian bookstore chain Indigo Books and Music in February 2009. In December 2009, Indigo renamed the service Kobo and spun it off into an independent company. Indigo remained the majority owner, with investors including Borders Group, Cheung Kong Holdings, and REDgroup Retail taking minority stakes. As of March 2010, Indigo Books & Music owned 58% of Kobo Inc. Rakuten acquired the company from these owners in January 2012. On 23 May 2016, Waterstones announced it had sold its ebook business to Rakuten Kobo Inc., and as of 14 June 2016, users were required to access their ebooks via Kobo's ebook site.