RealNetworks is poised to put a stronger focus on its efforts in facial recognition and machine learning, with its sale of Napster now complete.
The music streaming brand, operated by Rhapsody International, Inc., had represented the third leg of RealNetworks’ diverse portfolio of businesses, with the latter company also offering machine learning solutions in the form of its SAFR facial recognition platform and its Kontxt anti-fraud text management solution; as well as another business branch focused on mobile games. RealNetworks entered into an agreement to sell Rhapsody to MelodyVR Group PLC in the summer of 2020.
Now, effective December 30, 2020, Napster has officially become a wholly-owned subsidiary of MelodyVR.
In a statement announcing the deal’s closing, RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser suggested that the development will open the door for his firm to enhance its efforts in its remaining business lines.
“We are very pleased with the completion of the sale of Napster to MelodyVR,” he said. “The proceeds of the sale strengthen Real’s balance sheet and enable us to focus even more deeply on our primary growth initiatives which consist of two machine learning-based businesses, SAFR and Kontxt, and our GameHouse casual games business.”
At its close, the transaction was valued at about $70.6 million, including $15 million in cash, $11.6 million in MelodyVR stock, and the assumption of $44 million in payment obligations on the part of MelodyVR, with payments due mainly to entities in the music industry. RealNetworks expects to pay about $4.8 million of the proceeds to Columbus Nova as part of its obligations from its agreement to buy Napster in January of 2019.
The news comes after RealNetworks’ announcement of an app designed to verify mask policy compliance last month.
January 5, 2020 – by Alex Perala