Accedo raises $17m – Android TV to break US in 2019?

Accedo had a sensational 2018 and the Swedish video software specialist has already carried this into the New Year, raising a $17 million funding round.

We have enjoyed many conversations with Accedo since its inception in 2004, shortly after the birth of Faultline, and most recently the vendor’s product focus has been on Android TV operator tier while its primary target market has been Asia Pacific. But now with CES approaching, marking a year since Android TV operator tier kicked off in Europe after a slow start, next week will be a highly important show for Android TV and vendors like Accedo – with the technology as of now an unappealing option for US pay TV operators big and small.

The Android TV report and forecast from our Rethink TV research arm last year projected no North American deployments before 2019, starting first with small operators with under 50,000 subscribers this year, then gradually being taken up by larger operators to reach 16.5 million Android TV devices in North America by 2022. So, an Android TV operator tier announcement from a US or Canadian pay TV operator at CES next week would be a real treat.

Could Accedo be the vendor to land the very first North American case of Android TV operator tier? We prefer to swerve the term “leader” but from where we’re standing it certainly looks like Accedo is right up there and adding a North American contract would certainly make it the runaway player.

Accedo has been winning deals for its Studio Pay TV Android TV Launcher often in combination with its flagship Accedo One cloud application management platform – together providing extensive capabilities for operators to modify UIs and content before and after device deployment. StarHub is claiming to be the world’s first operator to roll out a streaming device using the recently released Oreo update to Android TV and if our conversation with Accedo in Singapore last year is anything to go by, there are some more Asia Pacific wins in the pipeline.

Also worth keeping an eye on in the Android TV space at CES is Canadian IPTV software house Espial, having partnered with Harmonic at IBC in September, as well as German multiscreen vendor 3SS.

Led by SEB Private Equity, an existing investor based in Stockholm, Accedo cites putting the funds towards rolling out multiple new products for the core video market, as well as entering new fields such as voice interaction, data-driven analysis of video experiences, VR and AR. Although we suspect the latter two areas are afterthoughts – simmering away on the backburner awaiting a surge like so many other companies hoping to get ahead of the competition when headset prices plummet.

Accedo has also been getting into deep learning and video recognition capabilities via AWS technologies, possibly another key trend throughout 2019 following Accedo’s experiments at ITV in the UK last year. The company’s drive to combine data with the UX is another goal, having invested in an interesting Spanish start-up called Jump TV Solutions last year, which is developing tools for churn prediction and content recommendations.

Investment Director at SEB Private Equity Magnus Ramström said, “Accedo has built a leading position in a very dynamic and rapidly changing industry. The market trends are moving in the right directions and we expect to see continued rapid industry evolution over the coming years.”