RR Donnelley Takes Stake in Helium Collaborative Writing Community
CHICAGO—Sep 01, 2009—R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (NASDAQ: RRD) announced today that it has expanded its offering by taking a minority stake in Helium, the world’s largest writing community and social publishing platform. Helium serves publishers and other content managers with cost-effective, premium local and lifestyle editorial content. Its site, www.Helium.com, enables community engagement with its unique Debate feature and connects publishers with writers through its freelance Marketplace. Articles, stories, reviews and other content generated by writers accessed through Helium may be used in books, newspapers, magazines, websites, catalogs and other communications.
“This investment reflects a natural extension of the collaborative, integrated communications solutions that we provide,” said Thomas J. Quinlan III, RR Donnelley’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Helium’s cost-effective model for high quality content creation expands the range of services that we provide to customers, which in turn creates more opportunities for RR Donnelley to execute premedia, printing and logistics work for them.”
Helium, Inc., formed in December 2005, is a privately held Delaware corporation located in Andover, Massachusetts. Helium operates a website, www.Helium.com, which launched in October 2006. The company has recently announced that publishers such as Hearst Corporation and Rand Publishing are leveraging its platform in order to select writers for programs that range from newspaper community stringers to a series of nonfiction book titles.
“Our investment in Helium is aligned with our strategy for bringing new technologies that are being developed outside of our own R&D function into RR Donnelley’s product and service portfolio,” continued Quinlan. “Another example of this strategy was our recent acquisition of Prospectus Central, which enhanced our eDelivery capabilities. In that instance we recognized a strong model being developed, formed a marketing alliance and subsequently purchased the company. This strategy gives us an opportunity to prove a fit with customers’ needs and an organizational match with RR Donnelley. We intend to continue this approach as we broaden the range and scope of our offering through targeted investments.”