Cisco to buy video delivery startup

SAN FRANCISCO — Cisco Systems Inc.  plans to acquire BNI Video, a privately held provider of video delivery software for service providers, for about US$99 million.

BNI’s software is designed to help service providers deliver any type of video to multiple devices at large scale. Cisco said the acquisition would help to advance Videoscape, the vision Cisco announced earlier this year for video delivery to any device. Cisco expects the deal to close in the second quarter of its fiscal year, which runs from November through January.

Videoscape, announced by Cisco CEO John Chambers at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, will help to simplify service providers’ management of video, according to Cisco. It includes a media gateway and a set-top box in a consumer’s home, along with software clients for various devices. Videoscape can also present video from different sources, including personal clips and online and traditional TV providers, on one screen.

BNI’s employees will be integrated into Cisco’s Service Provider Video Technology Group. It isn’t the first acquisition Cisco has made in pursuit of its carrier video vision. The company has also bought content-management-system vendor ExtendMedia and digital media processing company Inlet Technologies.

Cisco [Nasdaq: CSCO]  was already an investor in BNI along with Time Warner Cable and Comcast Ventures. The company was founded in 2009. BNI is based in Boxborough, Mass., and Cisco said it will strengthen the company’s presence in the greater Boston area, where in recent years it has acquired network management vendor LineSider Technologies and mobile back-end system provider Starent Networks.