Samsung has acquired New York-based TV startup Boxee according to reports from Israel, which say the company sold for less than what investors put into it over three rounds.
Update: a source tells GigaOM that Samsung paid “about $30 million” for Boxee assets. And a spokesperson wrote: ”We can confirm that Boxee will be joining Samsung. We’ll have a formal statement on our website later this week.”
The news follows reports last month that the company was looking for new cash but also considering a sale, with possible suitors at the time including both consumer electronics manufacturers and pay TV providers. Details are still emerging but it’s likely that Samsung is going to include Boxee’s cloud DVR offering in its own smart TV platform.
According to Haaretz, Boxee is selling:
…for tens of millions of dollars, but for less than the $30 million that was originally invested in the company… Samsung will keep Boxee’s 40 employees on the payroll. Half of those workers are in Israel.
Boxee, which competes with devices like Roku, originally started out with a PC-based media center software geared towards people who were connecting their PC to their TV, and then launched its first own hardware product, the Boxee Box, in cooperation with D-Link in late 2010.
However, Boxee found itself in a tough spot with the uniquely shaped Box: Fans of the PC software were irked by changes that were meant to attract a more mainstream audience. Less tech-savvy users were disappointed by the lack of content, with TV networks blocking the device from accessing some of their web content, and Hulu Plus remaining absent.
Boxee tried to solve that content problem with the launch of its second device, the Boxee TV, which was later rebranded as Boxee Cloud DVR. The device offers unlimited recording of over-the-air broadcast content in the cloud, with the ability to stream recordings to the device itself as well as to PCs and mobile devices.
We reached out to Samsung and Boxee for comment and will update this post if we hear back.