Kobo Establishes Software Development Centre in Dublin

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today [Wednesday] announced that Kobo, a global leader in eReading, is to establish a software development centre in Dublin with the expected creation of over 30 highly skilled jobs. The investment is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.

Founded in 2009, Kobo has rapidly become a leading player in the global eReading industry, with more than 10-million users across 190 countries worldwide.   The Kobo service is built on an open platform, allowing consumers to purchase and read eBooks on virtually all mainstream smart-phones, computers, tablets and eReaders. The company recently introduced two E Ink eReaders, the Kobo Glo and Kobo Mini, and a new 7” Android tablet, the Kobo Arc, to its Family of eReaders.

The new Dublin technology centre will provide software development support for all worldwide Kobo partners, as well as localisation and feature enhancement for all local markets.   Leveraging the local talent and expertise of   Dublin’s software engineers, Kobo will drive forward new innovations in eReading.   Kobo is an exciting addition to the strong cluster of Consumer and Digital Media companies with technology operations in Ireland.

Kobo was acquired in 2012 by the Tokyo-based Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce company, and is the third largest eCommerce marketplace in the world.

Making the announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is targeting high-growth emerging companies to locate operations in Ireland. Today’s announcement that Kobo, a young ICT company which has enjoyed astonishing growth in its three years of existence, is locating a software development centre in Dublin with the creation of over 30 high-end jobs, is very welcome and shows the incredible potential for jobs growth in this sector. I am determined to ensure that we build on this to create the jobs and growth we need”.

‘Ireland was chosen for our new technology centre due to its availability of highly qualified people with the right mix of technical skills, access to world-class academic institutes, and attractive research and development initiatives,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo. “I would like to thank the Irish Government and IDA Ireland for their support in establishing this operation and look forward to the development of Kobo in Ireland.”

Commenting on the announcement, Barry O’Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland said, “We are delighted with the establishment of Kobo’s software development centre in Dublin. Ireland has built a solid reputation as the digital capital of Europe and is home to some of the world’s leading technology companies. The addition of an exciting pure-play eReader company like Kobo further diversifies the digital cluster in Ireland. It also illustrates the flexibility and talent of the Irish workforce and Ireland as a platform for international expansion”.

About Kobo:

Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s fastest-growing eReading services offering nearly 3-million eBooks, magazines and newspapers. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo has built an open-standards platform to provide consumers with a choice when reading. Inspired by an philosophy and a passion for innovation, Kobo has expanded to nearly 190 countries, where millions of consumers have access to localized eBook catalogues and award-winning eReaders, like the Kobo Touch. With top-ranked eReading applications for Apple, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows products, Kobo allows consumers to make eReading social through Facebook Timeline and Reading Life, an industry-first social experience that lets users earn awards for time spent reading and encourage others to join in. Headquartered in Toronto and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten, Kobo eReaders can be found in major retail chains across the globe. For more information, visit www.kobo.com.

About Rakuten:

Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ:4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. Selected by Forbes as 7th among the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2012, Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visithttp://global.rakuten.com/corp/.