GridNetworks Close to Sale, Move Networks Looks for New CEO

So maybe challenging Akamai ain’t so easy! Move Networks and GridNetworks, both companies that power high-quality video streaming via plug-ins, are getting kicked around a bit.
We can confirm Dan Rayburn’s report last night that GridNetworks is close to being sold, but from what we now know about the deal it’s more of a merger that won’t see a significant return on the $9.5 million it raised from Cisco (s CSCO), Comcast (s CMCSA) and Panorama Capital. The company’s recent news includes partnering with a DRM provider and getting onto the Sony PS3.
We also got a chance to talk to Move Networks’ board member and investor Dan Beldy, managing director at Steamboat Ventures, today to get an official take on an anonymously sourced story in Contentinople that the company is going through a big shakeup.
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GridNetworks: Comcast Invested in Us, Too

GridNetworks, a peer-to-peer television distribution company, has revealed that it has taken investment from Comcast Interactive Capital. The funding was part of a previously announced $9.5 million Series A round whose participants have trickled out over time.

Comcast isn’t GridNetworks’ only strategic investor; it also took money from Cisco. Neither deal comes with definite plans to work together on technology, emphasized GridNetworks CEO Tony Naughtin in an interview last week, reducing the certainty of what he previously told us about the relationship with Cisco (“They’re going to embed the GridCast client into edge devices in millions of households in the coming year-plus.”). For now the extent of working with Comcast, as it’s trumped up in the press release, is “collaboration with Comcast Corporation during NCTA Cable Show.” Of course, giants aren’t known for their quickness (or their willingness to disclose future plans).

Comcast also has public relationships with GridNetworks competitors Pando and BitTorrent, though those are more related to Net Neutrality.

Naughtin said that GridNetworks is close to prototyping its high-definition P2P delivery service with a television operator that’s smaller than Comcast.