Lulu has partnered with uGenie’s application weRead. The partnership enables lulu publishers to publish books to weRead, a social network that basically collates user activities/usage of uGenie’s social app, iRead across the social networks (facebook, myspace, Orkut, Hi5, and Bebo, including individual’s websites or blogs).
iRead has close to 40 million books on members’ virtual bookshelves.
Why this deal smells like acquisition?
weRead is headed by founders Krishna Motukuri and Harish Abbott who will divide their time between Lulu’s US offices and weRead’s center of operations in Bangalore, India.- press release from lulu
In general, you don’t ‘divide the time’ for partnership deal, right?
And this tweet (by a ugenie employee)
uGenie raised $5mn from Blue Run Ventures and Sierra Ventures in 2006, but landed up in a trouble over the lawsuit by US’s largest wholesaler of higher education textbooks, Follett Education Group (efollet.com) for ‘scooping up vast quantities of data‘ – i.e. accessing Follett’s systems via bots without any prior agreement.
The lawsuit probably made them change their strategy and they shifted from being a shopping comparison engine to social app for book readers.
Any inside information on this deal?