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Pay-TV Tech Company Synacor Buys Web-TV Startup NimbleTV

It's a "part acqui-hire."

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Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

NimbleTV, the Web-TV startup that went dark this week but said it would return this year, won’t be coming back, after all.

Synacor, a Buffalo, NY-based company that provides technology and services to the pay-TV industry, has purchased NimbleTV in what it described as a “part acqui-hire” transaction.

That means Synacor will put NimbleTV’s 13 employees to work on its own projects and will also use NimbleTV’s technology and patents, said Synacor rep Meredith Roth.

NimbleTV, which raised at least $6 million from Tribune, Tribeca Venture Partners and Greycroft Partners, was supposed to let pay-TV customers watch the programming they paid for wherever they want, via a Web-based DVR.

On Monday, the service shut down, after telling subscribers that the company was going to “concentrate on developing something even better and more amazing than before,” and would “re-launch [a] new and improved service later this year.”

But Synacor, which makes money by helping pay-TV companies deliver their programming onto different platforms, says NimbleTV’s consumer business is “discontinued.” Roth says it will not return.

Here’s the full press release:

Synacor Acquires NimbleTV Video Talent and Live Linear TV Technology

BUFFALO, N.Y. and NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Synacor Inc. (Nasdaq:SYNC), the trusted technology, services and revenue partner for video, Internet and communications providers, and device manufacturers, today announced it has acquired NimbleTV, the New York City-based provider of multiscreen, live linear television programming for pay-TV subscribers. The combination of NimbleTV’s assets and talent is part of Synacor’s broader strategy for delivering end-to-end, advanced video solutions.

“As part of the Synacor growth strategy, we are committed to both bolstering our offerings and expanding our team around video. The NimbleTV transaction is part acqui-hire, where we are adding to Synacor a team steeped in video expertise, as well as an acquisition of technology that will enable us to deploy an authenticated, linear TV service on behalf of our clients,” said Synacor CEO Himesh Bhise. “Synacor has an important role to play as streaming video consumers—OTT and TV Everywhere—proliferate. We see a fragmented landscape of vendors and believe our customers are looking to Synacor as a one-stop, trusted partner. NimbleTV is another step toward expanding our team and platform to deliver end-to-end, advanced video solutions. And we will continue to work with partners in the video ecosystem to assemble best-in-class technologies to deliver video solutions for our clients.”

NimbleTV will allow Synacor to accelerate video product development and client commitments, as well as better leverage client TV rights. Synacor also gains patents that will further strengthen Synacor’s award-winning Cloud ID offering.

“For NimbleTV, becoming part of Synacor’s unique business model and layering into Synacor’s video product roadmap is a logical and exciting next step,” said NimbleTV CEO Anand Subramanian. “We bring consumer-tested video technology and patents to the table at a time when Synacor customers are looking to leverage new advancements with OTT and TVE video, especially live linear. All of us on the NimbleTV team are truly excited about becoming part of Synacor.”

NimbleTV recently discontinued its direct-to-consumer service, and as part of Synacor’s acquisition of assets, NimbleTV’s technology will be integrated into Synacor’s overall video platform. Financial details about the acquisition were not disclosed. For more information on Synacor and its end-to-end, advanced video solutions, please visit or email

And here’s a note posted to NimbleTV’s site:

The NimbleTV Team is now part of Synacor, Inc.
A few years ago, NimbleTV was established to leave a mark on an extremely confusing and fragmented pay TV industry. What resulted was an incredibly comprehensive Internet TV platform for people all over the world.

It soon became very clear that NimbleTV had two compelling businesses. One with our beloved consumer product and one as a technology enabler for companies interested in boosting their streaming and TV viewing capabilities.

Ultimately, it is an unsustainable strategy to maintain both businesses at the same time. As such, we have decided to end our direct-to-consumer service. This was not an easy decision but one that made the most sense for NimbleTV.

As part of that strategy, it was important for NimbleTV to become part of an entity that already had the established components to complement our technology and vision. There was only one company that fit the bill.

In order to power that platform, we developed some powerful and unique technology that became very attractive to several businesses.

Synacor, Inc.
We are thrilled to announce that the global technology company, Synacor, has acquired NimbleTV. Synacor is a leader in digital video technology that provides many of the nation’s largest cable providers with fantastic multiscreen experiences for their consumers. By acquiring NimbleTV, Synacor hopes to make those experiences even better across all platforms and devices. But that is only the beginning.

It’s been a thrilling ride here at NimbleTV. The entire team that built and delivered the NimbleTV service will be bringing those same motivations and aspirations to Synacor, where our technology and spirit can thrive and prosper.

However, none of this would have been possible if people didn’t enjoy and want NimbleTV. So we’d like to thank all our loyal customers who have supported NimbleTV for the past couple of years. We have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for your patronage.


The NimbleTV Team.

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