We’re hearing that Akimbo, the San Mateo, Calif. video set-top box company that raised millions of dollars in fresh funding less than three months ago to make a fresh start in a new direction, has just thrown in the towel anyway.
In February, Akimbo brought in a new management team, $8 million in fresh funding [Update: Apparently, the company only raised $4M; the original announcement of $8 million had been a targeted amount, but it only ever raised $4M] and refashioned its technology to help video publishers deliver their own video online. It also wanted to help publishers monetize the video, by offering them ways to charge for pay-per-minute content, run advertising and subscriptions.
I have no idea why the company closed its doors so fast on this second attempt. The latest batch of money came from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Zone Ventures, Blueprint Ventures and AT&T. DFJ, Kleiner, Zone and Blueprint were original backers of the first incarnation of the company. The company had raised a total of $47 million.
From what we hear, the company shut its doors today, with the entire staff of more than a dozen being terminated except for three to stay on to help an orderly shutdown.
The company had initiated a round of layoffs recently. The company was apparently then trying to sell itself, but time ran out and the board finally decided to call it quits.
I’m trying to reach the company for comment. If there’s a lesson, it’s probably that this video industry is red hot, but also frenetic, and way saturated, and that a company is toast if it’s just a step behind.