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Summary:

If venture investors are any indicator then both Akimbo and video on demand over broadband is about to hit big time. The San Mateo-based start-up has raised $15.5 million in series C financing from new investors, Cisco Systems, AT&T and venture capital firm, Blueprint Ventures. Existing […]

If venture investors are any indicator then both Akimbo and video on demand over broadband is about to hit big time.

The San Mateo-based start-up has raised $15.5 million in series C financing from new investors, Cisco Systems, AT&T and venture capital firm, Blueprint Ventures. Existing investors – Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sprout Group and Zone Ventures – also participated in this round of funding. Akimbo had raised $12 million its previous round of funding back in 2004. (More from Silicon Beat here.)

The tactical implications of this funding cannot be missed. Cisco, which led this round of financing owns Linksys, KISS and Scientific Atlanta, one of the major set-top box makers. This could mean Akimbo software could find its way into a myriad of devices. Joshua Goldman, CEO of Akimbo feels that along with AT&T, the Akimbo service can now find a mainstream audience. But the most interesting aspect of this investment is AT&T. Akimbo had previously had a deal with AT&T which allowed Ma Bell to distribute Akimbo programing on its AT&T’s Homezone service, scheduled to launch later this summer. The investment formalizes the relationship.

Still, I cannot help but read between the lines. AT&T has been pushing higher speed DSL connections. While not fast for instant on-demand video, they are plenty good enough for Akimbo-type services that trickle down the content to set-top boxes. It has also been aggressively hawking its DISH Network TV offering. AT&T’s Homezone offering will be focus of attention this summer. Add it all up: Project LightSpeed may not be moving at lightening speed!

  1. Jesse Kopelman Monday, June 26, 2006

    While true VOD will one day rule all, the Netflix model of using a que to create psuedo-VOD is pretty damn good. My own version of this is a dual tuner HD DVR. Right now I have about 8 HD movies I need to get around to watching. With network TV in reruns I have a shortage of the shorter from program which is easier to get around to watching. Now, the key thing to note is I have Comcast OnDemand, but it is lacking in content (especially HD — why no HBO HD, Showtime HD and such on demand?). So, my point is this; psuedo-VOD with more content choices trumps true VOD with less content choices — i.e. a good oportunity for Akimbo to step in.

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  2. Do you think this means Akimbo will get back into hardware of set top boxes (after they got out to become a software only solution on the microsoft media center platform) or will the hardware just be built into a new line of Scientific Atlanta boxes?

    Dean

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  3. not even a chance. i think they are selling their platform, software and the aggregated content. hardware is a sucker’s bet for a start-up, especially in the CE space.

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  4. Michael Sheridan Wednesday, June 28, 2006

    These guys still do not have the mainstream content or movies that the major player have–beyond narrowcasting of documentaries and some other
    content, I don’t understand how this warrents this level of investment.

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  5. Michael Sheridan Wednesday, June 28, 2006

    These guys still do not have the mainstream content or movies that the major player have–beyond narrowcasting of documentaries and some other
    content, I don’t understand how this warrents this level of investment.

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  6. [...] From AT&T’s Home Zone box to future devices, possibly from the likes of Linksys (Cisco is an investor), Thomas Frank, CEO & President of Akimbo says, “We simply want to be in everyone’s [...]

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  7. [...] nine-year-old company has held onto a skeleton staff that will find a buyer for the company. Akimbo raised over $56 million from big name VCs including Keiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. [...]

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