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KIT Digital Acquires Kyte, KickApps, and Kewego for $77.2 Million

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KIT Digital continues its rapid acquisitions with an announcement this morning that it's picking up Kyte, KickApps, and Kewego. KickApps CEO Alex Blum has been appointed to the new position of chief operating officer at KIT Digital.

Based in Prague, KIT Digital provides cloud-based video asset management solutions for multi-screen delivery. With these three acquisitions, it hopes to increase both the technological and geographic scope of its operations, while also enhancing its social media integration. The combined value of all three deals is roughly $77.2 million USD.

On January 25, KIT Digital completed the acquisition of privately-owned Kyte, the online video platform based in San Francisco, which helps companies deliver live and on-demand video. Kyte made a name for itself as one of the early leaders in delivery to and from mobile devices. The company sold for $5.7 million, which included $3.1 million in cash and $2.6 million in KIT Digital stock.

"KIT digital's global presence, strong entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to innovation made this merger clearly superior to other strategic opportunities. KIT digital's scale and expertise makes it possible for Kyte to realize the full potential of its pioneering innovations in online and mobile video, including new opportunities in the over-the-top (OTT) connected device and enterprise video markets," says Kyte chief operating officer Gannon Hall. Hall will be relocating to KIT's Prague headquarters to take the title executive vice president of marketing.

Kyte offers users multimedia chat, RSS, Twitter, and Facebook notification services to keep on top of new content, as well as sharing and embedding tools.

"Kyte is recognized as having the most advanced mobile publishing technology in the marketplace, and has an aggressive and talented management team," says KIT Digital chairman and CEO Kaleil Isaza Tuzman. "We plan to leverage Kyte's proprietary platform and application frameworks to serve and expand KIT's global client base. The acquisition also adds a strong West Coast presence, which we will use as an R&D and business development hub."

KIT Digital signed an agreement to acquire KickApps on January 28. KickApps is based in New York City and offers a suite of hosted social media apps for engaging online audiences. KickApps went for $44.7 million, all of which was in KIT Digital stock.

"KickApps’ innovative and proprietary suite of social media applications are a perfect strategic fit for us, adding powerful social tools and player authoring capabilities to our software platform solutions," says KIT Digital president Gavin Campion.

The deal brings with it KickApps' Open Source Media Framework app studio, a web-based authoring solution which KIT clients can now use to deliver customized Flash and HTML5 deployments.

Finally, KIT Digital finished the acquisition of Kewego on January 26. Kewego is based in Paris and offers enterprises and media companies multi-screen video asset management solutions. Customers can use them to manage, broadcast, and monetize videos on IP-connected devices. Kewego went for $26.7 million, of which $11.7 million was in cash and $15 million in KIT Digital stock.

The deal strengthens KIT Digital's market share in Western Europe. It also enhances KIT Digita's digital signage offerings.

KIT acquired Megahertz Broadcast Systems, Ltd. and Accela Communications in September, 2010, and Multicast Media in March of 2010. The company has made more than ten acquisitions in the past two years, including Nunet and The Feedroom in 2009, and made a public offering in December 2010 that netted $102.5 million.

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