Samsung Swallows Boxee
Extending its reach in the booming online video market, Samsung Electronics has struck a deal to acquire streaming media startup and cable pest Boxee .
Israeli media outlets reported Wednesday that Samsung is buying Boxee for about $30 million. The Korean electronics giant will reportedly keep the Israeli startup’s 40 employees, including founder and CEO Avner Rosen, in place.
A spokesperson for Boxee declined comment on the reports, saying she couldn’t confirm their accuracy. But a Samsung spokesperson confirmed the deal in a statement to Multichannel News, saying the deal will help Samsung improve the user experience across its smart TVs and other connected devices.
With Boxee under its belt, Samsung will be able to compete directly with such other major over-the-top (OTT) video services as Apple Inc.’s Apple TV and Roku . Like Apple TV and Roku, Boxee offers both a subscription streaming video service and a set-top box that consumers can buy at retail.
Unlike Apple TV and Roku, Boxee has not struck any partnership deals with cable operators or other pay TV providers despite several recent charm offensives by the charismatic Rosen. But, with Samsung already player in the cable set-top market and a huge maker of TV sets and other video devices, that could all change now.
Boxee, which was founded in 2007, had been seeking additional funding from venture capital firms and other investors recently. In three rounds of private funding, the company reported raising $26.5 million from five investors.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading