Blog Post

Electronic Edition Company Zinio Sold To PE Firm Gilvest

You’re reading it here first: Zinio, the electronic/digital editions software firm, has been sold to Gilvest, a private equity firm, paidContent.org has learned. An official announcement should come tomorrow. Gilvest is owned and run by entrepreneur David Gilmour and managed by Doug Carlson. Richard Maggiotto, the current CEO of Zinio, is expected to remain on board.
This is a strange exit for Zinio, which has along with other vendors in this space struggled as consumer adoption has been minimal, at best. The company has been around for a long time (founded in March 200), and has changed multiple CEOs. It had investment in the past from Enterprise Associates, North Bridge Venture Partners, Intel (NSDQ: INTC) Capital, Odyssey Capital, Parker Price Venture Capital, Apax, and Palisades Ventures. The company recently disposed off its e-commerce website BlueDlophin.
Gilmour’s media credentials are very recent: Last year, Gilmour founded VIV Publishing, which publishes digital health-lifestyle publication for women called VIV Magazine. Prior to that he was the founder and chairman of Fiji Water, which he sold in 2004. Gilmour also was co-founder of the South Pacific Hotel Corporation, Barrick Gold, and Horsham Corporation, which was to become TrizecHahn.
Related:
Zinio Sells Off Magazine E-Commerce Website BlueDolphin To M2M
Zinio Buys Out Online Magazine Retailer; Gets $7 Million Funding; Launches Global Retail Site
Disclaimer: Alan Patricof, our investor through his new fund Greycroft Partners, has in the past been on the board of Zinio…his previous firm Apax was an investor in Zinio.

5 Responses to “Electronic Edition Company Zinio Sold To PE Firm Gilvest”

  1. Marty Jones

    On second thought, the $30 million (?) write-off probably didn't matter. Patricof is running Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and didn't want the Post to find out he was running what is largely a (soft) porn site.

  2. Addendum: It gets worse. I just realized that it looks like the new version of Zinio Reader actually downloads all the rich media in this "interactive magazine" to the Zinio Library folder on my hard drive, meaning that I get to keep a copy of every video and sound file—whether that was the content creator's intention or not. So much for any control over digital rights management. With standard PDF construction, the video and sound files are embedded, so that, although they're not necessarily theft-proof, at least we can add file protection that makes it tougher to extract them.

  3. This was a sucker deal if ever I saw one. Zinio has done a remarkably adept job of ruining any chance that digital magazines would be taken seriously, nor has it done PDF publications any favour by using a proprietary version of PDF for delivery.

    The only hope I can see is that Gilmour et al wake up to the full possibilities of publishing in rich PDF, but from the look at VivMag, with its multitude of lame slide shows mixed with a few low res video clips, it doesn't look hopeful. David, I suggest you take a look at what we were doing back in 2004 with Graphic Exchange if you want to see what a real rich media PDF looks like.