Copenhagen-based Riidr has received investment from Schibsted, one of the Nordic's largest Media conglomerates. The company provides a cross-platform publishing solution for traditional ebook readers, as well as mobile apps and the web. This new may have been the first time you've heard about the publishing solution, but Riidr has been heavily focused on the Danish market, and only opened up in Sweden earlier this year. The full details of the round could not be disclosed, but the company could share that Schibsted acquired 10% of the company through their investment.
Schibsted approached Riidr, rather than the other way around, which signals the publishing giant's focus on new distribution channels.
"One day we the phone rang, and it was a person from Schibsted asking if we could set up a meeting. I said it sounds like a really good plan, so I flew to Stockholm the day after. It did take a while before we landed the final agreement, but through that dialogue we figured out that Schibsted is the perfect match for Riidr and our vision of the future," said Riidr CEO Anders Breinholst.
With the funding round they're moving more towards a B2B strategy to move e-books; a news site could commercialize their traffic by selling e-books on their site, for example. Self-publishing is a possibility through Riidr, so companies could promote and sell their own e-books through Riidr, or highlight books their audience would find interesting.
Rather than loading up their books with DRM, 95% of the books published through Riidr are protected with watermarks. Breinholst explains that the publishers here in Scandinavia have generally decided to put that sort of "social DRM" on e-books instead of Adobe's DRM, which limits you to five devices.
Riidr has been around since 2010, and first started with a web-based publishing solution. Later that year, they added iOS and Android apps, and continued increasing their market share in Denmark. One of Riidr's most interesting features is its "Send to Kindle" integration where they convert and send books for kindle users.
Rather than their main market segment being young tech-saavy users with smartphones an all the new devices, they found that their main segment are 50 or older. Around 30% of their books are read through their smartphone and tablet apps, while the rest is taken up by the Kindle and other e-readers.
Riidr doesn't have any content in English yet, but they should be able to have 300 000 ebooks available for download and purchase. Currently they have a catalogue of 10 000 titles in Danish and Swedish, so this will dramatically increase their inventory.
The best way to find their e-reading apps is on their website(Danish).