Following our report yesterday of an impending sale of LiveU – one of the leading developers of live streaming hardware and software, used by some 3,000 large media organizations – today the company and its buyer Carlyle confirmed the agreement.
The seller is Francisco Partners, another private equity firm that acquired LiveU just two years ago to $ 200 million. LiveU and Carlyle are not disclosing the terms of this latest sale, but well-placed sources tell us it’s for over $ 400 million. Carlyle noted that equity for the investment will be provided by Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (CETP) IV, a fund that invests in middle market technology opportunities in Europe and the United States. LiveU is based in Israel, and this is Carlyle’s first technology acquisition. in the countryside.
The doubling of LiveU’s valuation in two years partly reflects the state of the media today. Specifically, video is the centerpiece of how content and information is consumed, and its presence is only growing, and so companies creating tools to improve the way it is captured and transmitted are in vogue. .
Another boost in the video market has been the pandemic. LiveU will be used to record and transmit thousands of hours of Tokyo Summer Games events, which will depend more than ever on live video content given the lack of live audiences for a number of key events. .
But it is also due to the fact that LiveU itself is growing and consolidating its position. More recently he acquired its distribution partner in the UK market, Garland Partners, to establish more direct relationships and develop its activities with its clients in the region.
The company has developed a vertically integrated proposal, which includes not only cameras and other equipment to shoot videos, but also encoding equipment to send them, and then equipment to receive and use the equipment.
Along with this, he also designed software to compress data – essential for being able to capture high quality video while being able to transmit it – which works using a hybrid of different types of cellular networks, satellites. and others.
In short, it is an ingenious system, which can be used in modular or all-in-one deployments, and this flexibility and reliability has led it to sign over 3,000 media companies as clients, who have used it in a number of high-profile events (sporting events and major news events are very present) as well as for day-to-day video coverage.
While Francisco has had a relatively quick tour of LiveU as an asset, it looks like Carlyle might have more strategic plans. PE Company said it “will use its deep experience in the media technology industry to support LiveU’s growth ambitions.” The company is already investing in adjacent companies such as Disguise, NEP, The Foundry, Vubiquity, BTI Studios and The Mill. It also looks like LiveU will be used to help the company continue the consolidation game.
“Carlyle will seek to further consolidate LiveU’s position in the market through M&A and organic growth activities while capitalizing on the growing demand for high quality live video transmission,” LiveU noted in a statement. , adding that this will also include helping forge more media partnerships. The growing ubiquity of 5G will accelerate this trend, he said.
“We are delighted to partner with Carlyle as we seek to expand LiveU’s global footprint and service offering. This is a significant milestone for LiveU and represents a strong vote of confidence in our business, ”said Samuel Wasserman, CEO and co-founder of LiveU, in a statement. “Carlyle brings deep industry expertise with her background in media and technology alongside a global network. We greatly thank Francisco Partners and IGP Capital for their support and partnership over the past few years. “
“Carlyle is used to investing in fast growing, highly innovative and disruptive media technology companies and is truly excited to partner with LiveU, which is at the forefront of a rapidly growing market. Added Michael Wand, MD and co-leader of the CETP Advisory Team, in a statement. “Our partnership with the LiveU team will allow us to support their growth, driven by a mix of expansion into new verticals, targeted merger and acquisition activities and by developing their relationships with major broadcasters of media, especially in live sports where we are seeing an explosion in demand. for live content. We believe that the ongoing transition to high-quality real-time video content, the financial advantages of cellular transmission technologies over alternative transmission technologies, and the possibility of live streaming in hitherto neglected areas such as semi-professional and non-professional sports offer enormous growth potential for LiveU.