Anevia rakes in a $2 million raise – could a takeover be brewing?

Anevia has announced it has successfully raised $2 million this week, but all is not as jolly as it seems at the French network video delivery specialist. It has suffered from bad business decisions in recent years, which have resulted in its market cap sliding from over $40 million less than three years ago, to just $14.2 million today.

As one of the world’s best streaming packagers, Anevia could be a worthwhile gamble for an acquisition at that price. Technology companies in France are renowned for sticking together and the French MPEG technology group Vitec purchased 8% of Anevia’s share capital in January this year – which we suspect is just the beginning.

Anevia says its capital increase allows it to meet its recapitalization goals and continue its investment plans – citing it will strengthen financial resources to accelerate the implementation of its development. This involves supporting the transition to OTT video for operators, broadcasters, and media companies.

It was back in June 2014 when Anevia reported that its IPO was a success, with the demand for shares outpacing supply four times over. A share price of $16.51 generated $9.94 million for the company, which allocated 600,650 shares. This week’s capital increase reached a total of 445,850 new shares.

Wowza Media Systems is a streaming expert similar to Anevia, not just in terms of technology, but in the way both companies have opted to work from the ground up in building business – going for smaller customers upwards, whereas others are intent on making a bee line directly for the tier 1 accounts.

Elemental’s encoding strategy paid off handsomely at the tier 1 operators, and Wowza now claims 19,000 separate customers. Meanwhile, Anevia has never claimed a major deployment and has instead been a single part of multiple IPTV and OTT projects at smaller operators – building systems in partnership with the likes of Minerva, Verimatrix, Arris, AirTies, and Ateme.

Perhaps a notable setback for Anevia was when it had its CTO poached by Elemental in 2012, then a few short years later, Elemental became a company with a price tag estimated to be as high as $500 million, following its takeover by AWS.

Anevia’s most recent announcement was in November last year, when Cablevisión in Argentina selected Anevia’s time-shift TV technologies for its Flow TV service for some 3.5 million homes. The project began in 2011, with Anevia, Verimatrix and Minerva proposing a proof of concept for a new platform, and it then launched in 2015. Arris was the systems integrator and hybrid set top supplier.

Prior to that, in April 2016, Eutelsat successfully broadcast the Vienna Opera ballet live in UHD, via its French satellite bouquet Fransat, using Ateme’s Titan solution, with DASH packetization supported by an Anevia Nea Live Advanced Origin server which directly fed the Akamai CDN worldwide.

Anevia’s Viamotion product is a software-based multiscreen streaming system which claims to work with most portable devices. One of its central contributions to projects is its HTTP adaptive bitrate streaming technology, which optimizes Quality of Service on a real time basis according to available network capacity.

A key point of interest for many of Anevia’s customers and vendor partners over the years is its incorporation of the ViaMotion Origin Server, which enables the streams to be formatted in the various versions of HTTP, including Apple HLS, Google WebM, Adobe Flash HDS, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, and MPEG DASH. Each of these formats in turn are used by several viewing devices, so some such conversion is needed to provide full TV Everywhere capability.

Anevia CEO, Laurent Lafarge, said: “we’re very happy to announce the success of our capital increase and we would like to vigorously thank our shareholders for the trust they put in us. The proceeds from the increase in capital shall allow Anevia to strengthen its research and development teams in order to ensure the rapid deployment of additional solutions to its current software catalog, and to strengthen the necessary commercial resources for its international development building on its present commercial growth.”

Following Vitec’s 8% share purchase in January, its CEO and founder, Philippe Wetzel, said: “we are very pleased to become a shareholder of Anevia, a renowned actor benefiting from a strong know-how in the field of OTT and IPTV. Like at Vitec, innovation has always been at the heart of Anevia’s development, enabling its teams to constantly offer the most advanced technologies in its sector. We hope to contribute in accelerating its development by offering our expertise and access to our network.”