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Exclusive: IBM In Talks to Buy UStream

January 20, 2016, 7:24 PM UTC
Photograph by Getty Images

IBM is in advanced talks to acquire live video platform UStream, according to multiple sources familiar with the deal. The acquisition is expected to be valued at around $130 million in cash, plus possible earn-outs and employee retention packages.

The relationship between IBM and UStream dates back to at least April 2014, when Ustream was the only video service included in the launch of IBM’s cloud marketplace. Later that year, the two companies announced that Ustream technology would be used to incorporate video streaming capabilities into Bluemix, IBM’s open cloud development platform. A formal acquisition may make it easier for developers to build live video streaming features—such as enterprise collaboration—on the IBM cloud. There also could be Watson applications.

Silicon Valley-based Ustream has raised nearly $50 million in venture capital, although its latest funding round was in late 2011. Investors include DCM, Eastward Capital Partners, Labrador Ventures, KT Corp., SoftTech VC, SoftBank, Recruit Strategic Partners, Wasabi Ventures, and Western Technology Investment.

IBM (IBM) and UStream did not respond to requests for comment.

UPDATE: IBM confirmed the purchase on Thursday morning, saying that UStream will become part of a new cloud video unit.

Jonathan Vanian contributed to this story.