Mojiti

Hulu Makes First Acquisition; Chinese Video Startup To Form Backbone Of New Service

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We haven’t heard much about Bejing-based startup Mojiti before this week. They popped up in the TechCrunch Forums in January and are notable because the founder, Eric Feng, was previously at Microsoft Research Asia. Nothing other than that, and they do not appear to have many users.

But they sure are in the spotlight now: a source with knowledge of the deal indicates that the $1 billion News Corp./NBC online video joint venture Hulu has acquired the company and is using its platform for the basis of the upcoming Hulu service.

Mojiti is a basic online video platform that also allows users to annotate videos at specific time points. The annotation feature is somewhat similar to another startup, click.tv, which is rumored to have been acquired by Cisco.

The deal may have originally leaked via an overheard airport conversation as the Mojiti execs flew back to Asia after meetings with Hulu in the U.S. Neither company has officially confirmed the deal. Rumored price is in the $10 million range.

It is surprising that Hulu would use a third party platform for their service rather than build it themselves from the ground up. They’ve already missed their promised Summer 2007 launch date, however, and probably think the acquisition will get them to market faster.

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