500 year old Oxford University Press has signed a major partnership deal with Korean iPortfolio as the preferred supplier of Spindle Books for their expanding digital textbook platform. iPortfolio expects royalty revenue of at least $100k per year as a result of the deal, which is based on a new model for Korean software exports.
Sung Yoon Kim, CEO of iPortfolio recently signed a supply contract to provide a digital textbook platform for smart devices with Oxford University Press (OUP), world’s biggest English education publisher. As a result, OUP will be able to convert textbooks into e-books via Spindle Books and will be supplying it to over 50 countries worldwide, starting from the Middle East.
The supply contract is important in that it guarantees royalties for every sale – this is not simple a supply contract, but is also a licensing agreement. At 5% royalties for the textbooks sold, a normal annual income of 1.2Tn KRW would result in at least $100k annual revenue for iPortfolio. This demonstrates a ‘model case’ for future software exporting. The major challenge in securing the contract was differentiating the service from many other similar services available. OUP director for business development, Paul Riley, stated that; “There are many companies that provide these services but it is difficult to find one who has a high level of understanding of the industry. iPortfolio was the right company for us.” He went on to explain that Sung Yoon’s ‘mesmerizing’ presentation to the board at OUP was a defining point in securing the contract and that ‘mechanically finding a service provider’ was secondary to their “quest for a Major Partnership”
As expected the two year old iPortfolio had to go through an extremely tough due diligence process from 500 year old OUP, during which there were two visits from English HQ. iPortfolio’s government funding was a major plus, as was there association with other respected technology entities.
More about iPortfolio: iPortfolio is led by CEO Sung Yoon Kim, Executive Vice President Jong Hwan Lee, and Chang Ha Woo (winner of Korea Olympiad in Informatics). The company was founded in 2011 with 10 staff, and provided premium e-books and other digital text and services. At less than 1 year old iPortfolio received extremely positive feedback from the market and was selected as KOCCA’s resident business. In 2012 May, World Book Inc. (owned by Warran Buffet) selected Spindle Books as their preffered digital textbook platform and in January 2013 a deal worth up to $100k per year was signed with Oxford University Press.
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