Imax Corp. has acquired Ssimwave, an Ontario-based AI-driven tech agency whose shoppers embody media giants from Disney and Paramount International to Warner Bros. Discovery and NBCU father or mother Comcast. It’s a money and inventory deal price $21 million.
Imax has additionally labored with Ssimwave, an skilled in enhancing on-demand and stay visible imagery for broadcast and streaming throughout units, from an Imax massive display to a cellphone.
The acquisition is for $18.5 million in money and $2.5 million in inventory. There’s a further earnout consideration of $4 million, topic to reaching sure working efficiency and monetary goals. Imax stated the acquisition is anticipated to have “minimal monetary influence” in 2022 and be accretive in 2023.
Ssimwave was based on the College of Waterloo (the Toronto-Waterloo tech hall is the one of many largest in North America after Silicon Valley) and isn’t removed from the Imax Canadian headquarters.
“The actual fact is that we’re not a theater exhibitor, however a expertise licensing firm,” Imax CEO Wealthy Gelfond tells Deadline. He had presaged a pivot, noting on a latest earnings name that “Imax 3.0” can be emphasizing the tech facet of the enterprise and the model.
Within the close to time period, Gelfond stated, Ssimwave will drive new recurring income, and Imax will assist it develop its enterprise and product suite internationally. Longer-term, it’s about “new options for delivering Imax-quality video experiences throughout platforms, around the globe” as Imax integrates Ssimwave engineers into lots of its growth initiatives.
Video optimization may be difficult and costly however has by no means been extra essential as consumption explodes throughout platforms and in increased decision — together with 4K, 8k and new interactive experiences throughout gaming, VR, AR and the metaverse. Filmmakers and creators are additionally in search of options to make sure the constancy and high quality of their work on any display.
Ssimwave’s workforce “has mapped the human visible system to supply one of the correct measures of perceptual high quality,” which its AI-driven software program applies to boost video streams and information in actual time, right now’s announcement defined. Its Video Expertise Automation Platform is utilized by high Hollywood studios to deal with video points throughout all information and streams, assessing video high quality at scale. It lowers prices and offers a extra constant expertise no matter playback gadget or community.
Ssimwave, which launched in 2013, gained a Know-how & Engineering Emmy Award in 2020 and a Primetime Emmy Award for Excellent Achievement in Engineering in 2015. It was Greatest New Streaming Know-how winner within the NAB Present Product of the Yr Awards in 2022 and 2021.
The corporate’s expertise is protected with 50 patents, and others pending, globally.
“Ssimwave boasts an excellent workforce of engineers, technologists, and lecturers obsessive about picture high quality and on the forefront of Ontario’s thriving tech neighborhood. The similarities between this firm and Imax once we acquired it practically 30 years in the past are uncanny,” stated Gelfond. “We stay up for scaling Ssimwave’s enterprise and taking it in never-before-imagined instructions around the globe simply as we did with Imax’s game-changing projection expertise.”
He stated the acquisition builds on Imax cross-platform enlargement with Imax Enhanced, which brings the Imax expertise to streaming leisure with unique expanded facet ratio, digitally remastered content material, and signature sound.
“Viewers and content material creators anticipate extra from video experiences. By becoming a member of Imax, Ssimwave will probably be even higher positioned to protect creators’ intent and allow participating, differentiated viewing experiences to hundreds of thousands of customers throughout platforms,” stated Dr. Abdul Rehman, Ssimwave CEO. “We’re excited to hitch Imax and faucet into its world scale and experience as extra streamers flip to Ssimwave to make sure the very best viewing experiences whereas lowering bandwidth prices.”