ebooks are already the fastest-growing part of the e-book book market, with Amazon alone making more than $1 billion a year from the sales of ebooks, according to market research firm comScore.
The arrival of Venda, which is owned by a Canadian company called ebooks.com, is expected to accelerate that momentum and create more opportunities for Canadian publishers, as the online-only platform is able to offer a better deal for its customers, said Dan Vignoles, Venda’s executive vice-president and chief executive officer.
The company says it has raised $50 million in equity from investors such as Softbank and Fidelity.
Vignoles declined to provide an estimated value for the purchase, but said it is looking at an estimated $1 million to $1.5 million per month for a couple of years.
Venda has about 1,500 Canadian retailers and booksellers selling more than 100 million ebooks per month, according an estimate from comScore and an analysis by comScore that covers the past six months.
That’s more than 50 per cent of the market.
ComScore said in its latest quarterly report on the ebooks market that more than 1.5 billion books have been sold in Canada and the United States, making up almost two-thirds of the total e-books market.
Voda said it plans to buy a majority of the Venda stake and expand into other markets.
Venda has been making waves in the industry with its “venda” bookstores, where customers can pay for books online and read them at home.
The company also operates a library that offers free online classes to students.
The deal comes as ebooks continue to take a hit as e-commerce giants Amazon and Apple have introduced more content-based digital services, including books and movies.
Voda said the deal will provide the retailer with more revenue to expand its offerings and create a more sustainable business model.
Viva Books is also an online bookstore that sells ebooks online and through mobile apps.
Viva also sells audiobooks through its e-reading service, Viva Books for Audible.