Samsung Buys Cloud DVR Startup Boxee For $30M
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Founded in 2007, Tel Aviv-based Boxee makes a DVR that stores content in the cloud and lets users watch recordings anywhere without space limitations. The device is an improvement over most DVRs, which allow for a limited number of recordings before the user has to delete shows to make room for others.
“Samsung has acquired key talent and assets from Boxee,” said a Samsung spokeswoman. “This will help us continue to improve the overall user experience across our connected devices.”
Specific terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but a number of Israeli media outlets reported the deal to be worth $30 million, which is just over Boxee’s current funding total of $27 million from venture capital firms such as Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures and Softbank NY.
A Reuters report citing a “very good source with connections close to the company” also placed the deal at around $30 million.
As the world’s No 1 TV manufacturer, Samsung has been expanding features on its Internet-connected TV sets, adding services such as Skype video calling and apps that directly extract Netflix and other streaming video content.
The Boxee acquisition would allow Samsung to add built-in Smart TV capabilities along with set-top devices that can stream media and provide cloud DVR functionality – something that would help the company compete with Apple’s TV set-top box.
Consumers who use iPhones or iPads often purchase other Apple devices so they can coordinate tasks across their screens. Embracing that benefit, Samsung has been highlighting a wider range of products and the fact the devices can work together. The company has also been encouraging customers to try the Samsung Media Hub, which delivers content to smartphones, tablet devices, TVs and the HomeSync device, which allows easy sharing of content between smartphones and TVs.