After months of struggles, Venice video start-up Viddy sold

Mobile video app Viddy has been sold.
(Tiffany Hsu / Los Angeles Times)

Viddy, once a rising star in L.A.'s tech scene, has been sold.

The mobile video start-up, which late last year changed its name to Supernova, announced Wednesday afternoon that it had been acquired by Fullscreen Inc., a new media company in Culver City.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Re/code estimated that it was in the $15-million range and noted that all 12 of Supernova’s employees would join Fullscreen.


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In a statement, Supernova CEO and co-founder JJ Aguhob said the company’s mission “continues to be helping people create and share amazing content using elegant technology.”

“Together with Fullscreen, we will create mobile video products that millions of users enjoy.”

Less than two years ago, Viddy was being called the “Instagram for video,” boasted a $370-million valuation and was used regularly by such celebrities as Justin Bieber, Britney Spears and Taylor Swift to make 30-second videos.

Investors included venture capital firms and such high-profile names as Bieber, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Shakira and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.

But after Twitter’s Vine app launched a year ago, followed by Instagram’s video feature in June, Viddy began falling out of favor with users. The start-up laid off employees, changed its name and return money to investors.

George Strompolos, founder and CEO of Fullscreen, said the company “could not be more excited” about the purchase.

“More than 40% of Fullscreen’s viewership comes from mobile devices, which is up from less than 10% just two years ago,” he said. “With this acquisition of Supernova, we are well-positioned to capitalize on this major shift in consumer behavior through rich mobile video content experiences.”


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