We’ve learned that Airtime, the video startup founded by famed Napster alums Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, has allegedly made its first acquisition — before truly exiting stealth mode. The target? Erly, the Kleiner Perkins-backed startup aimed at letting people create social experiences around their experiences.
Update: We’ve confirmed the acquisition with a source at Airtime, and have been told that it will be announced along with a new $25 million round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins, including Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures. As part of the new round of funding, Kleiner Perkins partner Bing Gordon will be joining Airtime’s board of directors.
Update 2: The news has now been added to Airtime’s company blog, but at press time their entry does not include details on the size of the funding round.
It seems like an interesting fit at first, but as soon as you scratch the surface it all comes together. Erly’s founder and CEO is Eric Feng, a super sharp young industry vet who previously served as the Chief Technical Officer at Hulu. He alone clearly brings a lot of video and managerial experience to the table. What he’s built at Erly is still very early stage (ha, ha) but from what we’ve seen it’s a solid product. LinkedIn says that the company has around 10 employees.
Airtime, which is set to launch on June 5th, has taken its time to work on building something big. It would make sense that they’d want to bring together a rockstar team to make the most out of that crucial post-launch period. Of course Fanning, and especially Parker, have attained rock star status of sorts in this industry and beyond — which comes with a very unique set of expectations. Bringing on the likes of Feng and his team is a savvy move, for sure.