Cisco to Buy Sky-Backed 1 Mainstream Streaming-Video Startup

Cisco Systems is snapping up over-the-top video services provider 1 Mainstream, whose major investor is U.K. satellite operator Sky, as the tech company looks to provide customers a quicker path to connected-TV screens.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Privately held 1 Mainstream had raised about $8.75 million in funding from Sky as well as venture-capital firms DCM Ventures, Menlo Ventures and Luminari Capital.

Founded in 2012, 1 Mainstream has about 70 customers including Sky, CBS News, Australia’s Foxtel and multichannel network Tastemade. San Jose-based 1 Mainstream will become part of Cisco’s Service Provider Video Software and Solutions Cloud Engineering Group, headed by senior VP and GM Conrad Clemson. The deal is expected to close in Cisco’s fiscal 2016 second quarter, which ends in late January.

“We have a really strong portfolio with video for iOS, Android and web, but one of the things we missed was, customers said, ‘I want to get to the big screen and get there fast,'” Clemson said. The startup’s platform delivers OTT video across a range of devices, including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Microsoft Xbox.

1 Mainstream’s technology and 22-person staff will be integrated with Cisco’s new Infinite suite of cloud-powered video solutions sold to service providers, broadcasters and media companies. Rajeev Ramen, CEO of 1 Mainstream, will lead the combined team.

Alun Webber, Sky’s managing director of product design and development, voiced his support for the deal. “As a major customer, we are pleased to have been so closely involved in (1 Mainstream’s) development and we look forward to continue working with them as they become part of our long-standing partner Cisco’s Service Provider Video Team,” he said.

Last month, Amazon cut a deal to acquire Elemental Technologies, a video-encoding and content delivery technology company, for a reported $500 million in cash. Elemental’s 700-plus customer roster includes HBO Go, BBC’s iPlayer, CNNGo and ESPN ScoreCenter.

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