Chris Kranky

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Addlive acquired – she’s gone Smitty

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

Cash-gavel-soldKavan Seggie, the CEO of Addlive, stood there stoically as I peppered him with questions about his company, direction and future. His South African background, a polite mixture of outback Australian, uptight British and the light warmth of a nation far away from all things civilized. I got nothing to my questions as he stared out likely imagining some remote bush experience from his homeland (and hoping a lioness might emerge to gobble me up).

Addlive got bought yesterday by Snapchat. Indeed. Kavan played the game well and he has been richly rewarded. His background didn’t speak techno dweeb, a rock festival organizer, a safari travel company and food company selling¬†boerewors (and that’s not a misspelling- it’s a type of South African sausage). I kid you not, all for you to see on his Linkedin profile. But in this mix is also a hard core steeliness – years as a derivatives trader and a risk analyst, he knew a good deal and he knew how to play it.

So Snapchat buys up this small team of 4-5 (spread all over the world) for an undisclosed amount of money (certainly into the 8 digits though). For months, rumor has circulated that Addlive was about to be acquired. My understanding a bidding war ensued with the likes of Cisco, Citrix, Logmein and others. Kaven deftly playing them off against each other. Addlive now leaves behind a bunch of disgruntled bidders, some likely screwed as they were depending upon Addlive for their video services. This means the #2 uglier/fatter girl is up for grabs.

The list of remaining is small. Weemo sounds like a silly kid’s toy, but I’ll propeller over to their CEO this week to see if he’ll talk to me. Not talking is an answer for sure. Layer, a secretive company with a minimal website is as well under consideration. Best to take them out early. And let’s not forget vLine. The good news the bidders can walk with the auctioneer between their SFO SOMA office locations. Wait for another shoe to drop in the next months.

This is an excellent nod to the WebRTC technology. This acquisition was a pure build versus buy technology gain. Addlive had developed something that was part execution, part creativity and part mystery and the hungry hornets swarmed.  Addlive took on the burden of making something complex simple.

So heartfelt congratulations to Kavan, drinks will be on him next time.