NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- To accelerate OTT video efforts and roll out of enhanced content discovery and innovative features, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the technology and software that underlies Vessel's online video subscription service, which provides early access to videos from online video stars, and to hire most of Vessel's employees. Led by an exceptional executive talent pool and technology team, including some of the original founding team at Hulu, Vessel has developed smart video platforms that provide experiences that match today's viewer demand.
Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of several closing conditions and is expected to close later this month.
"When we examined and evaluated all that the Vessel team has executed to date and their technical strengths in areas of content discovery, recommendation, OTT subscription management and user experience management we were able to identify a number of ways this was a smart pairing," said Chip Canter, GM of Verizon Entertainment. "With Richard Tom leading technology and operations and Lonn Lee heading up product, we have the upmost confidence in our ability together to rapidly execute and enhance our products."
"We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to help shape the future of video on a dramatically larger scale with Verizon," said Richard Tom, Co-founder and CTO at Vessel. "We are grateful for their confidence in our technology, product and team as well as their commitment to the innovation ahead in online video."
Today, Verizon's multi-platform video strategy is driven by unmet customer and advertiser needs and matches the trends of increasing wireless video traffic and decreasing large bundle demand. Verizon is committed to providing content from the industry's top creators on a mobile-first distribution platform both on and off the Verizon network.
Vessel, headquartered in San Francisco, is an online short-form video subscription platform. The service launched in 2015 and has paying subscribers in 155 countries, providing early exclusive access to digitally native video. Vessel was created and is operated by members of the founding team that built and developed Hulu over its first six years.
Vessel's lead investors are Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Bezos Expeditions (the personal investment vehicle of Jeff Bezos), and Institutional Venture Partners.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York City, has a diverse workforce of 162,000 and generated nearly $132 billion in 2015 revenues. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, with 113.7 million retail connections nationwide. The company also provides communications and entertainment services over mobile broadband and the nation's premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide.
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