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Digeo — the Paul Allen-backed DVR maker — has been sold to broadband tech firm Arris Group for roughly $20 million in cash. The deal comes just over a year after Digeo laid off half of its staff and sharply cut back on its product plans, saying it had been “spreading (its) energies over too many platforms.” The company is best known for its Moxi DVRs, which Arris says it will continue to develop and market.
The sale represents a big loss for Digeo’s investors, who had put more than $110 million into the company. Allen’s VC firm Vulcan Ventures is Digeo’s main backer, and Allen has taken losses on other of his holdings lately. The NY Post reported just last week that Allen — who has invested roughly $8 billion in Charter Communications (NSDQ: CHTR) — was likely to lose control of that bankrupt company. Moxi and Charter were both key components of Allen’s long-gone Wired World vision; the cable operator was among those still leasing Moxi set-tops to subscribers. Digeo also lists Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) as current partners.
Earlier this month, Arris purchased EG Technology, which sells several video transcoders; Arris says that the two acquisitions will provide it with “substantial technical expertise in video networking and an innovative multimedia services delivery platform” — which it will use to develop new products. The Seattle Times quotes a spokeswoman who says fewer than 10 of Digeo’s 75 employees will lose their jobs. Release.