For Sale: Once Heralded 'TV Guide Killer' MeeVee

Faced with dwindling resources and market inertia, video search and TV listings provider MeeVee put itself on the block Tuesday.

"Due to accelerated development of the online entertainment market, the Board of Directors at MeeVee has determined that combining with an established player will maximize the potential for the community, technology and content relationships the company has built," the company said in a statement.

MeeVee claims to be "engaged in multiple discussions with potential acquirers that provide the greatest long term upside and synergy," yet it went so far as to solicit buy offers in the statement.

"The company has significant issued IP, community, media relationships, a TV listings personalization engine, streaming TV directory and a compelling product roadmap," reads the company's sales pitch.

Not mentioned, however, are MeeVee's meager user numbers and its diminishing workforce. The Burlingame, Calif.-based company reported about 1 million organic unique users in March--up from 480,000 users in August 2007, yet hardly a thriving community.

Last summer, the company cut its workforce by 20% to about 27 employees. Now, just seven remain, according to MeeVee.

Also not addressed is how much of its $25 million in financing the company has repaid to investors. Over four rounds of financing, MeeVee has raised about $25 million from DEFTA Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Venture Capital, FCPR Israel Discovery Fund, Labrador Ventures, The Bay Area Equity Fund and WaldenVC.

Company executives were not available for comment on Tuesday.

Once heralding itself as a "TV Guide killer," MeeVee has attempted to build a business with tools for users to search local, cable, satellite, and Internet TV schedules using show titles, cast member names, and keywords.

MeeVee users can create personal channels or profiles, incorporating video content for delivery into various devices, as well as engage in peer-to peer exchanges with other members of the community. Its hardware allows MeeVee to connect with any video-enabled device, alerting users when new content matching their profiled interests becomes available.

Along with investors, MeeVee has been able to attract quite a few choice publisher partners, including Hearst, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle, USA Today, The Seattle Times and The Denver Post

MeeVee typically charges online publishers for upfront development costs and a monthly syndication fee in exchange for sharing advertising revenue on its service.

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