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Industry Computer software
Digital Publishing
Founded 2006
Founder Claudia Zimmer (CEO)
Matthieu Kopp (CTO)
Thomas Ribreau (CPO)
Jean Michel Allegre (CFO)
Headquarters Montpellier, France
Area served
Owner Rakuten
Parent Rakuten Kobo Inc.

Aquafadas[1] is a software company specialising in mobile solutions (creation of tools to build mobile apps for smartphones, tablets and web) designed for enterprises and digital publishers. Based in Montpellier, in the south of France, Aquafadas is a major subsidiary of the Rakuten Group.


Aquafadas creates mobile application tools for enterprise designed to support businesses in their digital transformation. With Aquafadas software companies can build smartphone, tablet and web apps for their sales reps, investors and communications teams. Aquafadas also specialises in solutions for digital newspapers, magazines and e-text books.

Company history[edit]

The founders[edit]

Claudia Zimmer (CEO), previously an architect, and Matthieu Kopp (CTO) with a degree of engineering (École Centrale Paris) and PHD in astrophysics. With 11 years of software development experience, they previously spent 5 years running the Application Networks startup in London and founded Aquafadas in 2006.

Meaning of the ‘Aquafadas’ name[edit]

Aquafadas’ name was inspired by Aqua, the name of Apple’s Mac OS X graphical user interface, and “fada”, which means muse - inspirational tutelary goddess of the arts - in Occitan language (a gallo-romanic language, spoken in southern parts of France). Aquafadas could be translated as "inspired by the Mac."


Aquafadas first base was Cap Omega, a business incubator a winner of the best global incubator of startups, awarded by the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA).[5] Today, the Aquafadas’ headquarters is in MIBI (Montpellier International Business Incubator) in Montpellier.

Key dates[edit]

  • 2004: Creation of the first software, iDive
  • 2006: Aquafadas founded as a company by Claudia Zimmer and Matthieu Kopp. PulpMotion, the second software, launches.
  • 2007: BannerZest - software designed to create Flash banners - enters the market. The same year Ave!Comics, book store for digital comic books owned by Aquafadas, starts to gain attention in the comic books world.
  • 2008: VideoPier launch
  • December 2008, the latest Lucky Luke comic book on iPhone goes on sale thanks to the Ave!Comics3 tools
  • 2009: SnapFlow launch
  • May 2009, creation of Ave!Comics3 Production
  • 2010: BannerZest for Windows goes live. BannerZest Fun Pics Facebook app launches. Plug-in PulpFx created in partnership with Noise Industries goes live. Digital publications for La Fnac and Orange enter the market. Launch of mobile apps for: RMC Sport, La Tribune and Reader's Digest.
  • 2011: Partnership with Quark to make Aquafadas technology compatible with Quark 9 et Quark QPS. Adobe InDesign 4 Plugin designed for digital publishing goes live. New clients using Aquafadas tools for their digital publications: La Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais, Reader's Digest, La Tribune, Bayard, and Carlsen.
  • 2012 : The Canadian e-reading company Kobo acquires Aquafadas.
  • 2015: Aquafadas acquired by the Rakuten Group, the world’s leading internet services company.
  • 2017: Aquafadas becomes a major subsidiary of the Rakuten Group, appointing Yasufumi Hirai as Chairman and Koichiro Takahara as CEO.

Ave!Comics Production[edit]

The subsidiary company of Aquafadas, transforms and publishes comic books on smartphones, tablets and web readers.

International presences[edit]

Partner network[edit]

Aquafadas has an international presence with 25 partner companies across the world:

  • Latin America: Panama ; Mexico ; Brazil ; San Salvador ; Argentina ; Costa Rica.
  • North America: Canada ; USA.
  • EMEA : Emirates ; Kuwait ; Turkey ; France ; Spain ; Italy.
  • Asia : Japan (3 partners), China (3 partners), Thailand.

Kobo acquisition in 2012[edit]

The Canadian e-reading company, acquires Aquafadas in 2012. In 2015 becomes a part of the Rakuten group.

Rakuten Group acquisition in 2015[edit]

The world’s leading internet services company Rakuten acquires Aquafadas by merging with Kobo.

Tools and solutions[edit]


Aquafadas specialises in mobile solutions for enterprise.

  • Investor relations communications tools allowing gathering crucial information in one place
  • Sales enablement application for sales reps, for online and offline use, in the office and offsite
  • Internal and external communications solutions with interactive videos, photos, sound etc.
  • E-learning apps with engaging educational materials
  • Digital content software designed to create interactive e-magazine, e-newspapers and e-books

Digital publishing tools[edit]

With Aquafadas software it is possible to:

  • Create digital interactive documents automatically, with no coding
  • Build mobile apps for smartphones, tablets, Window and Mac
  • Manage content distribution and measure results

Digital content tools[edit]

  • Aquafadas Adobe InDesign plugin - tool to create digital interactive content using various enrichments
  • Cloud Authoring for automatic conversion of existing PDFs

Automated content creation tools:

  • Creative Flow allowing to create mobile documents using XML as a base
  • Conversion Flow to automatically import a large volume of PDFs

Mobile apps tools[edit]

  • Next Gen App to design apps online
  • Cloud Connect - an online dashboard to manage and publish apps
  • AppFactory (iOS & Android) to build off-the-shelf personalised applications without coding
  • SDK (Software Development Kit) for developers to connect existing apps with the Digital Publishing System from Aquafadas

Testing tools[edit]

  • Aquafadas Viewer (iOS & Android) - a stimulator to preview interactive documents created with InDesign or Cloud Authoring


  • iDive (Mac) to create video catalogues
  • PulpMotion (Mac) a slideshow maker
  • PulpFx - a plugin for Fx Factory by Noise Industries inspired by PulpMotion
  • BannerZest (Mac and PC) - tool to create professional, fully animated Html5 & Flash animations.


  • O'Reilly Mac Innovators Award 2005, San Francisco
  • MacGeneration Trophy for the best integration of Apple technologies 2005, iDive
  • Trophy for the best application MacGeneration 2006, Pulpmotion
  • Target Grand Prix start-ups (Start Up of the Year for the Languedoc-Roussillon in December 2006)
  • National competition for the creation of innovative businesses in category Building / Development (Ministry of Research - OSEO Anvar).
  • Grand Prix Software Venture Capital - Senate 2008 for Ave!Comics.
  • CNC (Centre National du Cinema and the moving image), as part of the call for projects of the network RIAM (Research and Innovation in Audiovisual and Multimedia), R&D program of 1 million Euros
  • 30th place at the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA - 2011
  • 1st place at the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 France - 2011 in "Software & Computer Services" sector
  • International Stratus Award 2015, for creative flow


  1. ^ Guillaume, Denis, Didier, Ergo et. "Le français Aquafadas fête ses 10 ans ! Auto-interview de Claudia Zimmer et Matthieu Kopp". Retrieved 2016-12-09. 

External links[edit]