UTStarcom Holdings Corp. ("UTStarcom" or “UTSI”), a leading provider of broadband equipment and solutions, has invested US$8 million to acquire a minority stake in aioTV Inc. ("all-in-one TV" or "aioTV"), a leading international cloud-based video aggregation and distribution platform.
The deal gives UTStarcom access to technology that will bolster its rollout of subscription-based value-added media services, while giving aioTV a partner with whom it can offer its technology within emerging markets in Asia.
aioTV was first to develop a middleware platform that combines conditional access and content management tools for network operators to aggregate multiple sources of content into a consistent TV-like experience across connected devices. The technology locates and aggregates internet and licensed video content metadata and ultimately delivers a common experience and content to viewers on a range of connected devices – any device that supports an HTML5 environment. aioTV currently works with more than 50 consumer electronics makers, cable and telecommunications service providers and broadcast partners in North America, South America, Europe and the Middle East to provide their middleware platform to millions of customers.
UTStarcom will look for opportunities to offer aioTV's technology in Asia where it has relationships with regional cable service providers and broadcasters. The aioTV platform will allow these operators to package and control a mixture of web content, licensed linear and video on demand (VOD) content into a consistent video experience that runs across connected devices in any language and on any broadband network. In the long term, UTStarcom will also look for opportunities to jointly develop new service offerings with aioTV in collaboration with the company's other strategic partners, such as iTV Media.
"We view aioTV as a key strategic investment and expect that it will help us realize our vision of becoming a leader in providing next generation media services," said Mr. William Wong, UTStarcom's CEO. "This is exactly the type of company we want to partner with as we seek to provide a highly personalized entertainment experience that is available on the devices that customers are increasingly embedding into their lifestyle."
The transaction makes UTStarcom the largest single shareholder in the company. In addition, UTStarcom will acquire seats on aioTV's board of directors. aioTV's management team, led by Michael Earle, CEO, and Jim Anderson, COO, will continue to set and execute aioTV's strategy and product development initiatives.
"We see emerging markets as some of the most eager adopters of next generation internet-delivered video services," said Mr. Earle. "This strategic investment from UTStarcom gives us the platform to meet the shift in global video consumption and will accelerate our ability to deploy our technology in some of the fastest growing markets in Asia."
Founded in 2010 by Mr. Earle, a veteran executive from the cable television sector and a seasoned entrepreneur, aioTV has eight developers in Halifax. The company plans to expand the team in Halifax, its primary operational footprint, immediately.
Innovacorp made a $1 million seed investment in aioTV in November 2011.
About UTStarcom Holdings Corp.
UTStarcom is a leading provider of broadband equipment and solutions for cable and telecom operators. The company sells its solutions to operators in both emerging and established telecommunications and cable markets around the world. UTStarcom enables its customers to rapidly deploy revenue-generating access services using their existing infrastructure, while providing a migration path to cost-efficient, end-to-end IP networks. The company was founded in 1991 and is listed on the NASDAQ in 2000. It has its operational headquarters in Beijing, China, and research and development operations in China and India. For more information about UTStarcom, visit WWW.UTSTAR.COM.
About aioTV Inc.
aioTV is a next generation video platform that aggregates pools of video content to deliver a unified rich video experience across connected devices. The company's aioTV consumer service and flagship business products aioCloud and aioPro are enabling platforms for service providers, consumer electronics manufactures and media companies designed to curate multiple sources of video content into a TV-like experience for customers to enjoy on multiple devices. aioTV aggregates long form video content from the web (OTT) and licensed content (VOD, TV Everywhere VOD, even linear channels) into a consumer experience that looks like TV middleware and runs on iPad, Android tablets, PC, MAC, Google TV, iPhone, Android phones, Android set top boxes and Amino set top boxes. For more information, visit WWW.AIO-TV.COM.
November 19, 2012