Monday, January 31, 2011

Roll It Up!

The roll up goes on at KIT Digital with a disparate range of acquisitions announced today, including yet another platform company, Kyte, video managers Kewego, and most interestingly, app creation platform, KickApps.

All three of these companies were heavy VC investments, showing how, as funds are coming to the end of their investment cycles from 2000 and 2005, offloading is becoming a priority. I don't think any will have made any real money in these deals.

It seems to be a case of the last company standing, but KIT remains highly loss making, very leveraged, already carrying over $37m of goodwill on its balance sheet and with a severe debt collection problem, with debtor days at over 150 days (or, rather, it is refusing to write down bad debt).

Perhaps more than anything, the KickApps acquisition shows that KIT is likely to attempt a 'self-service' version of its platform for the very long tail in the online video industry, although the ability to add apps and mashup around video is something that has long been an obvious direction, in my mind.

Still, it proves that there are some investors, somewhere, with a deep appetite to the rollup story in this challenging online video market, which probably bodes well for Brightcove.