3M Invests in German E-Reading Company

The company said that e-reading opportunities are becoming increasingly important to it-and that it sees business possibilities in the education, library, and automotive sectors.

3M Company said Wednesday that it has invested an undisclosed sum in a German e-reading company.

The company, Berlin-based Txtr GmbH, is a business-to-business company that has a platform through which customers can find, buy, and read e-books.

Maplewood-based 3M said that e-reading business opportunities are becoming increasingly important to it, adding that people expect to have mobile access to documents and books wherever they are.

3M said that it sees many business opportunities in e-reading-including some in the education, library, and automotive sectors.

According to Txtr CEO Christophe Maire, the e-reading market “will be much bigger than currently envisioned by many people.”

“The expectation is that by 2014, 5 percent of the $90 billion publishing market will be digital,” he said in a statement. “Txtr expects this to be closer to 30 percent.”

Txtr has recently launched iPhone and Android apps for a number of e-book retailers and wholesalers. Founded in 2008, it aims to build the largest network for e-books distribution worldwide.

The just-announced investment is occurring through 3M's electro and communications division.

3M is Minnesota's fifth-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $26.7 billion in 2010.