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Synacor Targets App Economy

5/07/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

You could call Synacor’s new
multidevice strategy “Apps Everywhere.”

The company, a provider of Web-portal
and TV Everywhere solutions, is promising to
make it easier for cable operators, content owners
and others to publish device-independent
apps with a forthcoming platform based on
the Web’s HTML5 standard.

Synacor’s HTML5 offering
is based on technology it obtained
with the $1.1 million
acquisition of eight-person
Canadian startup Carbyn in
January. The idea: to help deliver
a unified experience for
apps across Internet-connected
devices including smartphones,
tablets, laptops and
connected TVs, without having
to tailor discrete apps for
each individual device type.

“With Carbyn, you develop
one HTML5 app and that
can live inside one platform,”
Jaafer Haidar, formerly Carbyn co-founder
and CEO and now vice president of mobile for
Synacor, said.

Synacor is initially approaching existing
customers, including Verizon Communications,
Charter Communications and
Century Link, about the HTML5 offering.

The company plans to show off the Carbyn
system at the 2012 Cable Show in Boston this
month and aims to launch it commercially
by the end of 2012. The pricing model for the
hosted HTML5 app service has yet to be determined,
Haidar said. It could be based on
search and advertising revenue, or on the
number of active users.

The Carbyn platform can handle selfservice
applications for MSOs that provide
“my account” features, digital video recorder
management and voice-mail access — or any
range of apps developed by programmers to
deliver content, Haidar said.

“The base value of this platform is, we can
deliver apps and content to your consumers
across any HTML5 device,” he said. “Everybody
shares the need to become deviceagnostic.”

The Carbyn platform is completely hosted
in “the cloud,” meaning it is delivered as a
service over the Internet. Synacor said it will
integrate Carbyn’s technology with its own
platform to offer next-generation converged
services to broadband, cable, satellite, IPTV
and consumer-electronics companies. The
Buffalo, N.Y.-based company went public in
February, raising $23.3 million after it previously
anticipated raising up to $75 million.

Synacor disclosed the Carbyn acquisition
in a regulatory filing in January. The startup,
based in London, Ontario, was founded
in November 2010.

September