Aereo Assets Raise $2 Million at Auction, TiVo Gets the Trademark
Mark another sad chapter in the decline of Aereo, the once-promising startup that let subscribers stream over-the-air broadcast TV programming and record shows to a cloud DVR. Aereo's bankruptcy auction of assets pulled in a paltry $2 million, far less than the $4 million to $31.2 million the company was counting on to pay creditors.
TiVo got in on the fire sale, buying the Aereo trademark and customers list. RPX, a patent-risk management firm that Giga Om calls a patent troll, picked up Aereo's portfolio of patents. Also, Alliance Technology, an information technology firm, picked up some equipment.
Aereo had raised $95.6 million in venture capital funding, and it's now clear those investors won't be getting their money back.
Aereo's debtor's counsel, William Baldiga, released a statement saying, "We are very disappointed with the results of the auction. This has been a very difficult sales process and the results reflect that."
Following a Supreme Court decision in June 2014 that ruled against the company, Aereo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November and laid off the majority of its staff in December.
Giga Om quoted an unnamed source saying that Aereo still has other assets and is looking for other opportunities.
A loophole in copyright law says that nonprofits can retransmit broadcast content without a license, so this startup is a nonprofit.
While broadcasters had looked for a large payout, Aereo didn't have the money to give. The company is left with $800K in the bank.
The Barry Diller-backed startup is being sold for parts, with its streaming video technology going to the highest bidders.
The streaming service looks to the courts to help it move past lawsuits and debts, and focus on a new strategy.
The startup is now barred from streaming live broadcasts nationwide, but could still find a business with time-shifted content.