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Akimbo Reportedly is History

2 Jun, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Web-based video-on-demand (VOD) TV service Akimbo Systems has apparently shuttered operations, just three months after securing additional funding.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Akimbo, one of the first to offer a set-top box (made by RCA) that delivered content to the TV via the Internet, reportedly ceased operations last month after failing to find a third-party buyer, according to VentureBeat.com, an online technology tip site.

About 14 employees, including CEO and president Thomas Frank and other executives, were let go. Another 10 staffers were dismissed earlier in the month.

The 5-year-old service, which most recently attempted to reinvent itself by expanding VOD distribution to the PC, never managed to secure major studio entertainment content with the exception of the 2007 National Hockey League Stanley Cup Playoffs, which were available 48 hours after their initial TV airings.

As Web-based VOD and downloads began to attract players such as Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, cable operators and the studios themselves, Akimbo found itself unable to attract new investors.

CFO Peter Chantel told Demo.com the company had acquired $4 million in funding in February but had been unable to double that amount due to the global credit crunch.

“The [video-on-demand] market is very crowded and there's a credit crunch,” Chantel told Demo. “The board thought because we couldn't raise additional funds that we needed to look for a strategic partner to buy us."

Calls to Akimbo were not returned by press time.

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