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VBrick is adding to its portfolio of enterprise video offerings with the acquisition of white-label video distribution firm Fliqz. The purchase will bring some on-demand features and functionality to VBrick’s solution set, including social sharing and SEO improvements. But the Fliqz deal is just the latest in what appears to be a shakeout between online video platform providers.
Until now, VBrick has been focused primarily on enterprise video for live and on-demand communications with employees and partners. That includes company meetings and event broadcasts, employee collaboration and distributed learning applications, working with tools like SharePoint (s msft) to integrate directly into the enterprise workflow. As a result, most of its customers are either corporate, educational and government clients.
While VBrick has been successful in enabling behind-the-firewall video communications and applications, with more than 9,000 enterprise customers, the Fliqz acquisition gives it more options for customer-facing marketing and communications tools. Fliqz’s video distribution platform can be used to communicate directly with customers, providing easy-to-use social sharing tools and maximizing search engine optimization of video assets. Fliqz also brings with it a few customers, including Major League Baseball (MLB), Rackspace, (s RAX) WebMD (s WBMD) and T-Mobile, that VBrick might be able to upsell on its VBoss live video platform.
The Fliqz acquisition also isn’t just about video; in a phone interview, VBrick CEO Doug Howard said one of the main selling points of the Fliqz platform was its easy extensibility to potentially make it a content management system for all types of rich media assets. Fliqz also gives VBrick a way to move down-market and serve more small- and medium-sized business (SMB) customers, while offering up more SMB-like features to its existing customer set.
The acquisition will add some incremental revenue — VBrick did more than $40 million in revenues, and Fliqz did about $5 million, according to Howard — but the real value is in being able to offer new services to existing customers on both sides of the acquisition. To that end, VBrick will be integrating its features into Fliqz’s platform and vice versa.
VBrick’s acquisition of Fliqz comes against the backdrop of a shakeout in the once-hot market for online video distribution platforms. While more than 50 companies offered white-label video distribution platforms just a year or so ago, a number have already been acquired for their technology and customers as their funding dried up.
The biggest acquirer to date has been Kit Digital, (s KITD) which bought KickApps, Kyte and Kewego just a few weeks ago — and had purchased more than half a dozen similar firms over the past year. But it’s not alone; Google bought online video distribution firm Episodic (s GOOG) early last year, and Limelight acquired Delve Networks (s LLNW) last summer.
The good news for Fliqz is that while VBrick is taking over, it plans to invest in the business and will keep Fliqz operating as its own unit, according to Howard. Prior to the acquisition, VBrick had about 130 employees, and will be adding 15-20 more from Fliqz. In addition, Wallingford, Conn.-based VBrick has already committed to renewing the lease of Fliqz’s offices in Emeryville, Calif.
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