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Broadcast Vendor M&A: IBM Closes Aspera Acquisition

Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jan 17 2014

IBM says it has officially closed the acquisition of Aspera, which was announced last month.

Aspera’s product offerings will become part of the IBM’s “B2B/smarter commerce group” led by John Mesberg, VP, which is part the “industry solutions business,” led by Craig Hayman, General Manager, within IBM Software Group.  

Industry solutions is the organization within IBM that is responsible for B2B/Commerce.

IBM says it plans to “continue to support and enhance Aspera’s technologies while allowing clients to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio, as well as enhanced service options from IBM Global Services and increased international support (people, product localization, etc.).”

Current Aspera partners will continue to operate within the existing Aspera partner program on a business-as-usual basis under their current contract terms and program structure, until Aspera’s products are available in the IBM Business Partner Program. At that time, all Aspera’s partners will transition to standard IBM contracts and programs.  IBM says it is encouraging Asperas’s partners to enroll in IBM’s partner, which offers “access a vast array of benefits and resources, including marketing, selling, technical and training/certification resources.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but I did get a bit of insight into the company when I spoke to Aspera CEO Michelle Munson at the IABM Annual Conference during the first week of December 2013, about a week before the deal was announced.

According to Munson, who co-founded Aspera in 2004 with Serban Simu (described in this interview from 2009), the company is self-funded, profitable, and has been growing at double-digit percentages (50% year-over-year according to Munson) since launch.

Munon said Aspera has about 170 employees today, up 80% in the past two years according to this 2012 presentation.  While she did not provide specifics of the company revenue, a back of the envelope calculation based on the company’s employee numbers, and growth in headcount and customer licenses shows that Aspera is one of the larger pure-play software companies in the broadcast industry.

Aspera’s media customers range from broadcast networks, to sports broadcasters,film studios, post-production facilities, and content producers, to internet companies including Amazon, Netflix, and Apple’s iTunes.

Although the majority of its revenue today comes from the media industry, it’s likely that as part of IBM, Aspera’s technology will be utilized in a wide variety of industries – including finance, retail, and oil & gas – where there is a requirement to move and manage “big data.”



Related Content:

Press Release: IBM Closes Acquisition of Aspera

Broadcast Vendor M&A: IBM to Acquire Aspera

New Aspera page on IBM website

IBM FAQ on Aspera Acquisition

From Laid-off Engineer To Successful Startup CEO: Michelle Munson of Aspera

Aspera Presentation – What is FASP

Aspera – Media Industry Customer Showcase



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