My Prediction, Brightcove and blinkx Will Get Acquired This Year
I don’t like making predictions. In fact, I stay away from them whenever possible as too many predictions made are done just for headlines. But in this case, I think blinkx is really the only vendor in its vertical niche who has a product that works far superior than anyone else. They also have great momentum in the market, some smart folks at the company and based on their recent profile in the New York Times, they clearly know their strengths and more importantly their weaknesses. In my eyes, they have a lot of options for being acquired by a large portal or even from a large content creator who wants their search technology. While their founder and CTO Suranga Chandratillake told me that they are "making money" that does not really mean anything without numbers. He said "we don’t comment on how much (revenue) or how close to break-even". So not knowing how much real revenue they are doing and what their burn rate is it would be hard to say what their evaluation would be. So far, blinkx has raised about $12M and with a small head count under 30 they are probably not burning that much cash. My guess is that they are still an affordable acquisition.
As for Brightcove, they are a bit different as they have a lot of competitors in their vertical niche, but so far, no one has really stepped up with a technology offering that seems to be actively competing with them. There are some who have competitive offerings for pieces of what Brightcove offers but not really for the entire solution. We know they have a lot of cash and can burn through it for some time with no worries and they continue to expand their market and customer list. There is no guarantee that even with the exposure they are getting that they will make money from their current business model or how long that may take them but I see them as being an acquisition soon from a large portal and media play who wants to speed their time to market.
While any company can always be acquired, who do you feel are the ones that have the best shot at being purchased this year?