Zinio – Profile
HQ: Brisbane, CA
Founded: March 2002
Investors: $8.4 million Series C round of financing in September 2002 led by Apax Partners and joined by Intel Capital. Previous investors are New Enterprise Associates, Odyssey Capital, IDEO Ventures and NetOyster (VCs without Web sites).
Management: Company frequently boasts that it was founded by the man who previously brought us Bamboo.com!?, Kevin McCurdy. He has since been dumped in favor of new, more impressive managers. Scott Kauffman is now President and CEO – he previously ran MusicNow and stepped down after the company was acquired by Circuit City. Zinio has board-member Stewart Alsop’s signature – he is a tech trade rag editor turned VC whose attraction to magazines ran against his best judgment.
Stewart Alsop as a young man
Business Model: Zinio creates exact replicas of magazines and some newspapers then sells digital subscriptions via the publishers’ sites. Readers download Zinio’s proprietary reader. Publishers benefit from potential increases to their audits and subscribers view look-and-feel of print versions.
Competitors: Zinio arguably has the best software product in a field that does not get good reviews. A relative late-comer, they are behind in the number of publisher partners. NewsStand, Olive Software, Qmags, and Newspapers Direct.
Dirt: Company was expecting to reach profitability in 2002, but it appears to be far short of the mark. Too much competition, too little differentiation, and a sparse subscription base.