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E-Books Seller Kobo Raises A New Round Of Funding

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Kobo, the Borders-backed e-books seller, has raised a new round of funding led by what the company says is a “major institutional investor.” Kobo doesn’t say who the investor is but does say that Canadian books retailer Indigo Books and Music, which spun off the company 15 months ago, participated in this funding round and remains its biggest shareholder. Borders, which put money in the company in December 2009 but filed for bankruptcy last month, isn’t listed as a participant in this funding round.

Kobo features a library of 2.3 million eBooks that users can access via its mobile apps or a number of eReaders, including the Sony (NYSE: SNE) Reader and the company’s own Kobo eReader. Kobo says 2.7 million users have signed up for its service to date.

The company is often associated with Borders, since the retailer is a major outlet for Kobo’s eReader and Kobo also powers Borders’ eBooks store. However, Kobo has insisted in the aftermath of Borders’ bankruptcy that it is not dependent on the retailer’s success saying the retailer represents a “minority” of its overall sales.

Kobo says the new cash will support “international expansion with new distribution partners, support for a wide range of languages and the world’s best content.” In December, the company launched an update to its iOS apps that lets iPad and iPhone users achieve “reading milestones” and unlock “achievement-based badges” while reading. The company says the update has been a big success and it will be bringing it to “new partners, platforms and languages” this year.

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