Scribd acquires social reading start-up Librify
The subscription eBooks service Scribd today announced that it has acquired Librify. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The deal is similar to the kinds of small deals Apple and Google make, where the deal is less about getting rid of a big competitor than it is acquiring some technology. In this case, the deal is about adding social sharing features.
“We value Librify’s focus on the social reading experience and the great work they’ve already done within reading communities,” Scribd CEO Trip Adler said. “This move is a natural extension of the existing Scribd product and something we, and our readers, have wanted to explore more deeply.”
While Scribd didn’t have much more to say about the deal, Librify was forced to announce the deal to its customers on their website:
We are writing to share some important and exciting news – Librify has been acquired by Scribd. We believe Scribd provides the ideal strategic fit for Librify and the perfect platform for the Librify vision to live on. At its core, Librify’s goal was to help members of existing book clubs and aspirational readers of all kinds, enjoy a more meaningful and robust reading experience. All of this can now best be done on Scribd.
Over the coming weeks, we will be working with Scribd on the transition and we will be providing you with more information and a special offer to join Scribd. For the time being, you can still access your Librify account. However, you will no longer be able to purchase content on our site and we are no longer accepting new memberships. If you are having any trouble logging into your account or accessing the books you have already purchased, please email us at email@example.com. If you have purchased a gift card through a Target store and have not yet used it, you may return it to Target for a refund. If you have already redeemed your gift card but it still has credit remaining on it, please email us all the information regarding your card including your gift card number, where you purchased it, your name and contact information, so that we may process any refund that may be required.
We are excited for you, our customers, to join Scribd and are confident you will love the reading experience it offers. A heartfelt thanks to all of you, our customers, for being the most important part of our exciting journey. Thank you for helping us to build Librify and for reading with us! We wish you a wonderful reading-filled summer!
Librify was founded in 2013 and backed by ICG Ventures, the investment arm of content distributor Ingram Content Group.
Joanna Stone (now Joanna Stone Herman) was co-founder of the company, and was, for a short time, Managing Director/Book Publishing and Education at the M&A firm DeSilva & Phillips. She was also Senior Manager, Media and Entertainment Strategy at Accenture. That meant the company was being run by an industry veteran with plenty of mergers experience, but possibly not a lot of fund raising experience (meaning a sale was the more logical end to the company).
“Having worked in many areas of the digital media industry, including as an investment banker, I’m very familiar with how a well-structured deal can bring much more value than just the financial commitment alone,” Stone said in early 2014. “If we’re successful in two years, it’s because publishers say that we provide something that is essential in the spectrum their ability to reach consumers.”