Revver is acquired amid spike in interest

Video-sharing site's low asking price helped renew buyout talks with entertainment network LiveUniverse, sources say.

Employees of video-sharing site Revver said they breathed a sigh of relief Thursday after management informed them that the company had been acquired by LiveUniverse, a little-known online entertainment network.

Representatives from both companies declined to comment, but two Revver employees and an executive at a company that had inquired about bidding on Revver said managers there had informed them the sale was done. The blog NewTeeVee was first to report the acquisition.

"At those prices we thought Revver would be a good deal. I'm betting lots of others thought the same thing."
--Doug Kamin, VideoJug exec

In a report earlier this month , CNET News.com cited sources who said the beleaguered Revver was asking for between $300,000 and $500,000 and the assumption of the company's debt, which the sources said was in the $1 million range. Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Bessemer Venture Partners were among those that invested more than $12 million into Revver.

News.com also reported that talks between LiveUniverse, owned by MySpace.com co-founder Brad Greenspan, had stalled last month over the issue of debt. A Revver employee, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak for the company, confirmed that Thursday.

The employee added that negotiations began to pick up again after the story about Revver's troubles appeared. That triggered, according to the employee, a flurry of inquiries from other companies. Among those who called was VideoJug, an online video destination and production company.

Doug Kamin, senior vice president of marketing at VideoJug, said Thursday that he contacted executives about the possibility of making a bid after reading about Revver's woes.

"At those prices, we thought Revver would be a good deal," Kamin said. "I'm betting lots of others thought the same thing."

On Thursday Revver called Kamin to tell him that Revver's management had decided to go with the "original bidder."

Revver's staff, which is half the size it was in 2006, was ecstatic to hear that the company was saved and that they would not be broken up or moved, according to two Revver employees. The status of the company's CEO, Kevin Wells, was unclear.

For a year, the company had weathered management shake-ups that included the departures of all three founders. Employees had witnessed some of the Web's best-known video producers, such as Ze Frank and Lonelygirl15, abandon the site. Revver's audience was dwarfed by YouTube's and other video-sharing front-runners.

More recently, rumors circulated the Web that the company was running short of cash, according to the Revver employees.

"Everyone is just really happy that this happened," the Revver employee said. "We always knew that the company had great technology and a strong following of creators. We knew we had value."

 

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