Vessel, the YouTube-like competitor started up by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, has found the exit door about 18 months after the service went live.
Verizon announced Wednesday that it has signed a deal to acquire the technology and software that underpins Vessel’s online video subscription service, noting that the deal will help to accelerate its OTT video efforts and to add enhanced content discovery elements and other features. Verizon said it will also hire “most” of Vessel’s employees.
Financial terms of the deal, expected to close later this month, were not disclosed. Vessel has raised more than $134 million, a figure that includes a $57.5 million “B” round announced in April 2015.
Following a brief invitation-only beta trial, Vessel launched commercially in March 2015. Its “early access” subscription product provided temporary exclusives (usually a 72-hour window ) to short-form videos for $2.99 per month. In March of 2016, Vessel went-ad-free for all paying subs, and added an annual plan that cost $19.99. Vessel has not announced how many subscribers it has. Recode reported last month that Verizon was interested in acquiring Vessel, and that Vessel had had trouble luring YouTube stars to its service.
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