At the beginning of November we posted a rumor and asked whether Intel had bought Toronto based audience measurement business Cognovision – well as usual we were correct and the word on the street is that the acquisition has definitely gone through.
We believe that Intel paid USD 17M for Cognovision, in terms of revenue, Cognovision was likely doing just under 1M annually but was definitely not cash flow positive due to heavy R&D. Cognovision had plenty of cash in hand (likely, over 1M in the bank and with access to another 1M confirmed) which would of course given them a strong hand in any negotiations – a 15x multiple has (bizarrely in our eyes) seemed customary in other recent Toronto technology acquisitions we have been involved in and so we are quite confident on the numbers.
So why did Intel buy Cognovision? Well, Cognovision is / was a dog of an application; MIPS- consuming or MIPS-hungry as we used to call it when I was at Intel in the late 90’s and so Intel probably think that this might be a good way to try and sell a few more Intel® Core™ i5 and Intel® Core™ i7 Processors. Cognovision has some decent technology and are heavily pushing some newer retail (non-Digital Signage) solutions so it will be interesting to see if with a new owner they manage to make more of a splash than they have done up til’ now.
With the deal mainly driven with that in mind maybe this makes some sort of sense.
Fellow audience measurement folks such as Trumedia (let’s just say especially Trumedia) and Quividi better watch out. We were asked recently by some (other) investors who was doing best in this space and we had to say that Quividi are far and above everyone else – they have more installs, are more global and have more brand recognition than anyone in the sector. At last month’s Digital Signage Conference in Munich, Quividi must have received an unprompted product mention from every other speaker!
We have thought many times that it’s actually a shame that Quividi don’t do (even) more and be much more (they were the first to enter this space after all and have pioneered much of what has gone before) but I’m not sure what you can expect from a tiny French company in Paris that doesn’t quite get branding and marketing. No oh là là there then!