On the business front, OverDrive announced in March 2012 that it had acquired the Australia-based company Booki.sh (https://booki.sh/), a portfolio project of Inventive Labs (http://inventivelabs.com.au), a small consulting and software development firm founded by Joseph Pearson and Virginia Murdoch. Following the acquisition of Booki.sh, the remaining consulting business will combine with Icelab, another Web consulting firm.
Booki.sh has developed a cloud-based environment for the distribution and reading of e-books by Web browsers, without the need for specialized apps or plug-ins. The basic concept involves storage of books in the Booki.sh cloud environment, though they are cached to the user's device so that they can be read when not connected to the Internet. Booki. sh relies on the Monocle Reader developed by Inventive Labs as an open source e-book reader that runs on current Web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Safari, which in turn operate on a wide range of mobile devices, tablets, and personal computers. The founders Booki.sh and one additional employee, Peter Haasz will join Overdrive, establish a company office in Australia, and work to integrate their technologies with Overdrive's offerings. This acquisition adds an important set of technologies to OverDrive's arsenal, including management of e-book content through cloud storage and an elegant set of browserbased e-book reading software to complement its current capabilities based on dedicated e-book readers. OverDrive indicates that it will work with its Australian customers to deliver the ability to read e-books through Web browsers in schools and libraries.
OverDrive was founded in 1986 by Steve Potash and is based in Cleveland, Ohio. Potash serves as the company's President and CEO. The company has been involved with a variety of technology and content products through the course of its history, ranging from those delivered on CD-ROM in its earlier days to its current offerings based on the management and access to digital content, including e-books, audiobooks, music, and video. The company currently ranks as the dominant provider of e-book and other digital content services to libraries. OverDrive has developed publishing platforms that securely deliver content and fulfillment services using DRM and other technologies. Its customers include libraries, schools, publishers, and retailers. In March 2012, OverDrive announced its plans to build a new headquarters facility in Garfield Heights, Ohio. This 95,000-square-foot facility will accommodate the company's current workforce of around 100 personnel, with capacity to support up to 300. Investments in extending its technical infrastructure, in new facilities for its operations, and an initial foray into business acquisitions reflect a company positioned for growth.