Dropbox acquires and absorbs reading app Readmill; app will be shut down

Gigaom

Dropbox has acquired the iOS and Android ebook reading app Readmill, and the app will be shut down. Readmill confirmed the news on its blog Friday following a TechCrunch report Thursday.

Readmill was a Berlin-based startup that had become popular for the clean, streamlined ebook reading service it provided; its support for Adobe DRM meant readers could buy ebooks from platforms like Kobo and Nook and then read them on Readmill’s apps. In recent months, Readmill had added a book discovery feature and partnered with the Guardian, the Atavist, startup Livrada and nearly 100 other independent publishers and digital bookstores to let them sell ebooks directly through their websites.

That’s not the part Dropbox was interested in, though. Readmill’s technology also allowed users to share and leave notes for each other within ebooks and it sounds as if that’s the reason for the acquisition. In its blog post, Readmill said:

“Our team will be joining Dropbox, where our expertise in reading, collaboration and syncing across devices finds a fitting home. Millions of people use Dropbox to store and share their digital lives, and we believe it’s a strong foundation on which to build the future of reading.”

Dropbox isn’t providing an e-reading app:

Is Dropbox creating a reading app similar to Readmill?

No. But since reading on screens of all sizes is essential to work and life for so many, we’ll be approaching similar challenges in new ways at Dropbox.”

TechCrunch pegged the acquisition price at around $8 million and said Readmill’s team, including co-founder and CEO Henrik Berggren and co-founder David Kjelkerud, will be moving to Dropbox’s offices in San Francisco.

“Many challenges in the world of ebooks remain unsolved, and we failed to create a sustainable platform for reading,” Berggren and Kjelkerud wrote. “For this, we’re deeply sorry. We considered every option before making the difficult decision to end the product that brought us together.”



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