Poland’s ‘Netflix of e-books’ poised to take over German rival ahead of floatation
Polish e-book subscription service Legimi is set to take over German rival Readfy, before joining the NewConnect stockmarket.
According to company co-founder Mikołaj Małaczyński, the takeover bid is close to completion and is expected in May.
The share offer comes with incentives similar to crowdfunding projects but the move is something of a novelty to traditional stockmarket investors.
The first tier investors will receive three months access to Legimi e-books and audiobooks while the top tier investors who buy over 10,000 shares will receive an e-reader, a lifetime subscription to access Legimi ebooks and audiobooks among other things.
It is available until 12th April and will be the only opportunity to obtain shares in the company before they join the NewConnect market later in the year.
One reason for their growth is their proprietary technology known as synchrobook.
Małaczyński told TFN: “It’s a unique solution, not only in Poland. Once you download a book you can easily change format from text to audio and back.
“Titles without an audiobook version can be listened to with a speech synthesizer.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re at home or running in the park – you don’t have to stop following the story.”
Founded in 2009 by friends Małaczyński from Poznań and Mateusz Frukacz from Świnoujście, Legimi started offering ebook and audiobook subscriptions in 2012, a year before industry giant Amazon offered such a service.
Now the pair have grown their company to such a level that they are able to take on Readfy.
While e-books might be becoming more popular around the World and traditional bookshops seem to be closing down Małaczyński doesn’t see that as an indication that people are reading less.
The 34-year-old said: “In Poland we can see that the traditional book market is stable. According to the latest survey made by National Library only 37 percent of Poles read at least one book per year.
“From our perspective the most important information is that the e-book market is growing year by year. We wouldn’t say we read more but rather, we read in a different way.”
Legimi has now been installed over two million times, sometimes it is pre-installed on devices and even if users don’t subscribe to the service there are free offerings available.
“Our library service is available for free to final users. We sell our service directly to libraries and companies which distribute access codes among their users or employees.
“Thanks to Legimi, the problem of a queue to the most popular books in libraries has been finally resolved.” Małaczyński explained.
He continued that the company is currently focused on the Polish and German markets.
“Our business model is scalable so we should be ready to launch Legimi in other countries at an appropriate time.
“On each market you have to cooperate with local distributors. German readers aren’t interested in Polish literature. On the other hand Poles have a great opportunity to learn English language literature that we provide from Legimi.de.
“So as you can see sometimes this synergy effect is possible but it’s not a rule.”