Report: IBM in talks to acquire live video streaming firm Ustream for around $130m

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International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) is said to be in talks to acquire online video streaming company Ustream, Inc. according to a report published Wednesday.

Forbes claims the talks are advanced according to multiple sources familiar with the deal, with an acquisition price expected to be around $130 million in cash, with the possible addition of earn-outs and an employee retention package.

Founded in 2007 initially as a free to use video streaming platform in what was then a wave of similar services such as JustinTV (now Twitch.tv), Livestream.com, Yahoo Live TV and others, the company has morphed into a provider of a paid, cloud-based video platform that delivers high-quality video streaming combined with enterprise-based security and scalability.

Ustream’s client list includes Facebook, HBO, Cisco, Sony, Intuit, NASA, Mazda and Samsung, while prominent figures including President Barack Obama and Rand Paul have previously used the service.

Company Chief Executive Officer Brad Hunstable sat down with SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE team at the IBM Impact conference back in 2014 where he explained that he created the company while he was deployed in the military so he would be able to watch his brother’s different band performances.

“We started humbly and now have grown into a large provider for businesses. We built it completely from the ground up,” he told SiliconANGLE Founder John Furrier, before going on to discuss where the market was going.

“I think where the growth in video is happening is within the enterprise,” he said, noting that enterprise customers are looking to Ustream because they require a full solution and Hunstable and his company can offer that to them.

“The beauty of the Cloud is that you can, regardless of [company] size, quickly try different solutions and change or adopt.”

“Enterprise is a tremendous opportunity..We are going to continue to provide robust solutions for these companies to suit their specific needs. We come from a consumer background and want to bring that knowledge to the enterprise.”

“The reality is that every company is a media producer. They are creating content in many different ways and that helps them reach their customers on a more personal level.”

IBM Cloud

IBM and Ustream have had a technological partnership in place since 2014 that initially gave access to IBM cloud marketplace customers to Ustream’s services, then developed further with Ustream technology being used to incorporate video streaming into IBM’s Bluemix.

The acquisition, if it happens, would likely see Ustream’s technology merged completely into the IBM Cloud ,allowing developers to build enterprise apps that deliver functionality such as streaming videos or desktop sharing.

Ustream has raised $60.31 million to date from investors including Softbank Capital, Wasabi Ventures, KT Corp DCM Ventures, Fenwick & West and Band of Angels.

Disclosure: Ustream provides video streaming services for SiliconANGLE.

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