The New York-based video discovery startup Shelby.tv has been acquired by Samsung, I’ve heard from multiple sources. I have yet to learn details of the transaction, but it’s been characterized to me as an acqui-hire, and I’ve been told by people in the know that Shelby will shut down its apps after an official announcement is made. Shelby.tv was founded three years ago, and raised a total of $3.9 million.
Shelby competed with a number of other video discovery apps, trying to help people find the best videos shared by their Facebook contacts as well as the most popular and most relevant clips on YouTube and elsewhere.
The company built a number of iterations of its app, and even briefly shut down completely to refocus and rebuild the entire experience, only to re-emerge late last year with a new iOS app. Shelby.tv founder and CEO Reece Pacheco was very public about these struggles, at one point penning a Medium post that detailed some of the company’s mistakes.
Shelby’s discovery efforts could be a good complement to the work Samsung has been doing in the second-screen and TV space. Samsung acquired multiscreen startup MOVL a year ago, and has since launched a multiscreen SDK to allow developers to build mobile apps that connect to and interact with Samsung’s TVs. The company also bought connected device startup Boxee last year, and it’s possible that Shelby will work with Boxee’s team in New York.