Textunes gains Thalia as strategic partner – exit for High-Tech Gründerfonds

August 9, 2011

High-Tech Gründerfonds has successfully sold its shares in textunes GmbH. With the purchase of textunes GmbH, Thalia is acquiring one of the leading providers of eBooks and eBook apps. With this step Thalia is setting new standards in digital reading as part of its “Smart Reading Strategy”.

textunes was founded in 2009 by the three eBook enthusiasts Simon Seeger, Michael Oesterreich and Volker Oppmann as well as AG. With financial support from High-Tech Gründerfonds the start-up has now developed into one of the leading providers for cross-platform eBook apps and at the same time via community and social reading features provides its users the option to exchange information about literary preferences and purchases.

“From the very beginning our goal was to offer people the option of accessing recent literature whenever and wherever they want and also to attract those people to digital reading who have still had little or no contact with it. Starting immediately we look forward to working together with Thalia on the expansion of the eReading market in German-speaking countries,” says Simon Seeger, managing director of textunes GmbH. “Thalia and textunes complement each other perfectly and with our own eReader, eReading app and the advice and service in fixed-location bookshops we are ideally positioned for long-term success,” sums up textunes managing director Volker Oppmann.

Romy Schnelle, investment manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds, supported textunes with the successful exit: “We are happy to have found the perfect buyer for textunes GmbH in Thalia Holding GmbH. This collaboration unfolds an enormous degree of sales power and entails great strategic benefits for both textunes and Thalia. A high potential for synergy arises from the integration of both companies, both in sales as well as in technical and creative product development; for High-Tech Gründerfonds this results in a good return in the double-digit range.”

Thalia would like to further develop its strong position in the German eReading market. The Hagen-based bookselling group is bringing on board the Berlin-based company textunes in order to implement their “Smart Reading Strategy”.The decision to acquire textunes GmbH and launch its own eReading app is also based on the rapid expansion of the smartphone and tablet market in Germany. “The interest in digital content which can be read on other mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has risen sharply in the past twelve months,” explains Michael Busch, managing director of Thalia Holding. “In addition to OYO and our existing content and service offerings, via textunes’ extensive know-how and offerings and our own eReading app we are now expanding our competence in the German eReading market and offering our customers a more multifaceted digital reading experience.”

Thalia Holding’s acquisition of textunes GmbH was finalised on 1st August 2011. Both parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

About textunes
textunes GmbH develops and operates an eBook platform for smartphones and tablet computers of various platforms. This combines an eBook shop, reading software and a community into an ideal user experience in one app. In addition to classic eBooks, which essentially display texts, textunes offers its customers especially popular enhanced eBooks such as comics, text-audio books and interactive guides. Customers can use textunes’s platform to read and buy eBooks and to exchange information about literary preferences and purchases by means of community and social reading features. Founded in 2009, the company cooperates with over 300 publishers and is among the leading providers in the German eBook market.

Press contact:
Simon Seeger
textunes GmbH
Mehringdamm 57
10961 Berlin
Fon: +49(0)30/6677302 0
Mobil: +49(0)163/6457389

About Thalia
With just under 300 bookshops in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, around 5,180 employees and annual revenues of approx. 900 million euros (2009/10), Thalia is the market leader in retail bookselling in German-speaking countries. The company is also the only true multichannel retailer in the German book market: Thalia is equally competent and close to the reader in its classic bookshops as well as in its online shop and Thalia provides its customers expert advice and inspiring shopping experiences in both the “real” as well as the “virtual” world of books. In the “best of many worlds” bookselling tradition teams up with great commitment for the promotion of reading and culture – and with a consistent turning to the new digital possibilities for the use of the book medium: A large selection of eBooks and the distribution of its own OYO eReader are only a few aspects of the many digital offerings that Thalia provides. Founded in the building of Thalia Theatre in Hamburg in 1919, Thalia has belonged to Douglas Holding AG since 2001.

About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in promising technology companies that turn innovative concepts into viable businesses. Seed financing aims to help start-ups guide their innovation to the prototype or proof-of-concept stage or to market launch. High-Tech Gründerfonds provides seed financing of approximately €500,000. It supports high-tech companies by way of its investment managers and its highly-qualified network of coaches, investors and specialists. In individual cases it can invest up to a total of €2 m per company. The investors in this public private partnership are the German Federal Ministry for Business and Technology, the KfW Banking Group as well as the six industrial groups of BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gründerfonds has an investment volume totalling approx. €272 m.

High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Romy Schnelle
Investment Manager
Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2
53175 Bonn
Tel.:  +49 228 82300-100
Fax:  +49 228 82300-050

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