Back in early 2009, I wrote about an Italian startup called BeeTV, which showcased some impressive TV recommendation technology. The goal was to sell that technology to telcos and cable operators, but this proved to be a very difficult task for a small, scrappy upstart. This led to BeeTV changing course and trying its hand at making consumer-focused products, like an iPad app for watching and sharing TV experiences with friends. They also secured more funding, bringing its total raised to over $10 million.
Alas, this morning CEO Yaniv Solnik informed me that they’ve failed to gain significant traction with the new strategy, and that they’ve subsequently ran out of cash.
The company will be ceasing operations soon.
Solnik also says BeeTV’s main co-founder unexpectedly passed away last year, and that his death was -understandably – a huge shock to everyone at the company.
BeeTV will be shut down, but the company has put its assets up for sale; including a patented recommendation engine for TV and a consumer-focused social TV service that encompasses iPad, iPhone and Web clients. So maybe this isn’t the definitive end of the road for BeeTV.
I told Solnik that this ‘failure’ means he can now move on to the next startup, and he quickly responded to me, saying that he can’t help it and that he will keep trying. Good.