Zinio Systems, Inc., a provider of digital publishing and marketing services, has announced it has merged with Blue Dolphin Group (BDG), an online magazine retailer. As part of the deal, Zinio closed a $7 million growth-financing round with two new investors, North Bridge Venture Partners and Commonwealth Capital. The combined company will offer 1,300 magazine titles and many available in both print and digital formats.
Through the merger, Zinio will offer digital as an option to a new audience of print readers who can now sample digital versions of magazines before subscribing. Additionally, subscribers can receive their first issue digitally. Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., publishers of Car and Driver, Road & Track, Woman's Day, ELLE, and other enthusiast magazines, is in the process of rolling out all of their titles in digital format in partnership with Zinio. Mr. Centauro will continue with Zinio as president of the Blue Dolphin division. As a venture capitalist with North Bridge Venture Partners and investor in Blue Dolphin Group, Bill Geary will join Zinio's board of directors.
In other news, Zinio has launched The Zinio Global Newsstand Network, a global distribution channel for published digital media. Available on localized online newsstands, the Network is designed to enable delivery of both foreign and domestic titles in the language and currency of member countries. It will initially include the U.S., UK, Poland, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and Thailand, with more countries to follow. The Zinio Global Newsstand Network offers about 400 magazines available through franchise partners in local markets. The network also features a UK newsstand with more than 40 magazines from fourteen publishers.