Cisco, Telus and a group of VC firms are investing $16 million in Seattle-based Widevine, which provides encryption software for content protection to cable, telephone and satellite operators. The 75-person company also competes with News Corp. subsidiary NDS, which provides an encryption technology known as VideoGuard for DirectTV, and Swiss company Nagravision. The investment allows Widevine to maintain its independence, particularly from rival Microsoft. CEO Brian Baker had previously rejected several offers from Microsoft over the past one year.
Cisco's involvement in this deal should be particularly helpful to Widevine. Through a 2004 agreement, Widevine already supplies its digital encryption technology to Motorola set-top boxes (STBs). Now, with the investment from Cisco, Widevine's content protection technology can be added to Scientific-Atlanta STBs too. An agreement with Siemens, a third STB maker, is expected to be announced soon.
To learn more about the investment:
- go to this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article