UK Supermarket invests in eBook technology
Anobii launched in beta last December with the aim of taking eBooks into the social space with a new discovery-oriented network, while also challenging Amazon and Apple with a store.
Alongside directly purchasing eBooks, Anobii users are able to rate, review and discuss books with others, as well as access "crowd-sourced" recommendations based on topic and subject.
The network has built a 600,000-strong user base worldwide and now has a library of more than 60,000 eBooks.
Sainsbury's joins Anobii's existing shareholders, the publishers HarperCollins, Penguin and Random House Group (UK). They now plan to invest in the business for further growth in the UK and overseas.
The supermarket chain said that investing in Anobii is a "further step" in its strategy of offering digital entertainment services, following recent launches of music and movie download stores.
Mike Bennett, Sainsbury's head of digital entertainment, said that Anobii's use of social media was a "clear differentiator" in the eBooks market.
"This acquisition is a valuable addition to our digital portfolio and shows our commitment to becoming a key player in the digital entertainment market," he said.
"It further demonstrates how we are constantly looking to innovate and seize opportunities that will support the future growth of our business.
"We're excited about working together with the Anobii team and our fellow shareholders in supporting Anobii to become a leading retailer of e-books."