Amazon’s AWS buys Thinkbox Software, maker of tools for creative professionals

It looks like AWS, Amazon’s cloud computing arm, has made another acquisition to add more productivity tools for its customers beyond basic cloud-computing services. It has picked up Thinkbox Software, which develops and sells solutions for media design and content creation aimed at people in the video and wider visual media industries.

Examples of services that Thinkbox already offers include systems for render management (“Deadline”), geometry caching (“XMesh”) and particle meshing (“Frost”), and a series of particle rendering solutions (its “Krakatoa” line), among other tools. Interestingly, its solutions up to now have been designed both for on-premises and cloud-based working.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed in a short announcement from founder and CEO Christopher Bond posted on Thinkbox Software’s website. He noted that the company would continue for now with “business as usual” as it joined Amazon Web Services:

“We’re excited to announce that we’ve been acquired by Amazon!

We’ll be joining the Amazon Web Services family, and we’re looking forward to working together to deliver exciting customer offerings.

At this point, it’s still business as usual for us. We’ll continue to provide you, our customers, with remarkable support whether you work on-prem, in the cloud or both.

Chris and the Thinkbox Team”

We have also reached out to Amazon for double confirmation and any further comment.

The deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions made by AWS to expand the kinds of services that it’s offering to its users beyond basic cloud computing.

Other recent acquisitions have included to add more security services and Biba for videoconferencing expertise. (As we noted when we first broke the news of Biba’s acquisition, Amazon was planning a new videoconferencing service, which in turn launched just last month, Chime.) Further back, AWS acquired another video tech company, Elemental Technologies, for $296 million. Elemental Technologies’ focus was/is on video encoding and transcoding software for multiscreen content delivery.

We don’t know yet where Amazon will go with Thinkbox, but given that there has been a huge rise of streamed digital video content globally, one obvious guess is that Amazon has identified that since it’s hosting a lot of this (one of its big customers is Netflix, as it happens), this is an open opportunity: build and sell more services to developers and businesses turning to Amazon already for back-end support, to help them not just deliver content, but create that content as well.

And as for the fact that Thinkbox already offers solutions for on-premises architectures, that’s interesting, too: while the number of businesses working in all-cloud environments is growing, there are also a number using hybrid deployments, and so Thinkbox’s dual approach could be useful for AWS to address that need for flexibility.

According to Crunchbase, it looks like Thinkbox Software — which has a base in Winnipeg, Canada, but also operations in Vancouver, Toronto, London U.K. and Los Angeles — was bootstrapped.

We’ll update this post as we learn more.