Kanata-based You.i TV – which attracted more than US$50 million in venture capital over the past decade as it developed cross-platform video apps for customers around the world – has been sold to U.S. media giant WarnerMedia LLC, according to a news report.
In a story reporting the deal Thursday, the Globe and Mail pegged the value of the transaction at more than US$100 million. A source told the publication the deal is expected to be announced publicly within a matter of days.
You.i co-founder and CEO Jason Flick did not respond to requests for comment from OBJ on Friday. Company spokesperson Sandra Catana sent an email saying: “We don’t comment on M&A speculation so nothing to share at this time.”
Since its founding in 2008, the 200-person company has built a high-profile list of customers that includes AT&T – the parent company of WarnerMedia and a significant investor in You.i TV – Fox and Toronto’s Corus Entertainment as well as major professional sports leagues such as the NBA and NFL.
Along the way, the firm landed millions in equity funding from big-name investors, starting in 2015 with $15 million in funding in a round led by California-based Kayne Partners. That same year, the company landed at No. 7 on OBJ’s list of fastest-growing companies on the strength of rising demand for its user interface software that helps people interact with devices from TVs.
US$23M series-C round
Massachusetts-based Causeway Media Partners led a US$23-million round of fresh funding in late 2018. Flick told OBJ then he expected to hire an additional 50 to 100 employees over the next 18-24 months, with 80 per cent of the hires coming in Ottawa.
Earlier this year, You.i received an additional $3.1 million in federal loans. The company said it planned to hire up to 55 new employees and expected to double its revenue over the next three years as it expands into new markets beyond North America while beefing up its R&D efforts.
But according to the Globe and Mail report, You.i TV was struggling to keep pace with growth expectations, and a source told the publication its sales had taken a hit during the pandemic.
Various media reports said the company is expected to provide in-house streaming technology for AT&T and WarnerMedia, but it’s not clear what will happen to its deals with other customers.