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Kobo, the 2-year-old Canadian maker of electronic reading devices, has been sold for $315 million in cash to Japan’s Rakuten. Toronto-based Kobo — a spin-out of Indigo — raised $50 million in April.

In addition to Indigo, Kobo was backed by Cheung Kong Holdings.

“Kobo provides one of the world’s most communal eBook reading experiences with its innovative integration of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter,” said Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. “While Rakuten offers Kobo unparalleled opportunities to extend its reach through some of the world’s largest regional e-commerce companies….”

Kobo maintained some operations in Seattle under the direction of  Todd Humphrey, who led business development efforts.  Ratuken plans to keep the staff of Kobo, according to the press release.

Rakuten employs 10,000 people worldwide, operating sites such as, and LinkShare.

UPDATE: Here’s what Kobo’s Todd Humphrey had to say about the deal:

With the acquisition we will continue to grow out our team, in Toronto, and around the globe.  I will remain in Seattle of course … and there is a strong likelihood that we will grow our presence in Seattle. Overall, it is a really strategic deal for Kobo, allowing us to leverage our growing family of eReaders, top-rated apps, and social reading experience, along with Rakuten’s expertise and more than 80 million registered members.
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