Kobo announced today that they've seen stellar growth in the past year. eBook sales and sales of the Kobo Touch are both up significantly. What's more, Kobo has nearly quadrupled their user base, with the number of people reading with Kobo internationally reportedly being up by 280%.
Kob was bought by Rakuten in the fall of 2011, and both parties are expecting that it will offer unparalleled opportunities to extend Kobo's reach through Rakuten's other subsidiaries, including some of the world's largest international e-commerce companies like Buy.com and Play.com.
Kobo plans to build on its relationship with Rakuten by first launching in Japan, where Rakuten has a solid presence in the online retail market. That launch has been in the works since January, and there's no news on when it will happen. Further launches are planned for Portugal, Spain, Italy, but given that those sites were supposed to launch last fall and actually have been in the works for over a year I'm not sure when we will see them.
Kobo's other international expansions all happened much faster, with a local ebookstore launched in Germany as well as partnerships in France (FNAC), UK (WHSmiths), and the Netherlands (Libris Blz). Kobo also has local partners in NZ and Australia.