E’ville Biz Digest: Gracenote & Aspera acquired, Art.com expanding

Published On December 30, 2013 | By Rob Arias | In the Neighborhood, Local Business

A few local Emeryville companies are making headlines in the business world:

Gracenote is a music and video recognition algorithm and metadata solution that is licensed to some of the biggest entertainment companies on the planet including Apple, Pandora and Spotify. They employ more than 350 people worldwide and are headquartered here in Emeryville.

Aspera Inc., founded in 2004, specializes in high-speed file transfer, cloud infrastructure enablement & remote collaboration. High-profile clients include Netflix and James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment Visual Effects Company. They employee approximately 200 people and are headquartered here in Emeryville.

Art.com is a privately held company founded in 1998 with over 12 million customers in 120 countries. They are the world’s largest online specialty retailer of high-quality wall art. They currently employee 600 people and are headquartered here in Emeryville.


Tribune Co. buys Emeryville’s Gracenote for $170 million

By Blanca Torres
Gracenote Inc. has a new owner — again.
The Emeryville-based business known largely for its vast library of digital music is being sold by Sony Corp. of America to Tribune Co. for $170 million in cash.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
Gracenote has grown the bulk of its business with a diverse set of products related to its database of 180 million tracks of music.
Gracenote sells its data to clients in a wide range of industries for various uses, including copyright protection, music discovery and facilitating commerce. Gracenote provides song titles, lyrics, album art and more to customers such as Apple, which uses it to identify music in iTunes, and streaming music websites including Pandora and Spotify.
Tribune Co., which owns newspapers, TV and radio stations, said it will combine Gracenote with Tribune Media Services, which provides TV and movie data to customers, to create one of the largest entertainment information companies globally.

Read More on SF Business Times.com →


Art.com expands Emeryville headquarters in Hines office tower

By Blanca Torres
Art.com Inc., an online art retailer, is growing in Emeryville to 72,000 square feet at its offices in 2100 Powell St.
The company previously leased about 48,000 square feet on the 10th and 13th floor of the tower, owned by Hines Interests, and added 24,000 square feet on the 14th floor.
“The location allows us to recruit talented people from all directions and, indeed, our employees commute from all parts of the Bay Area,” said Allison Berry, an Art.com spokesperson. “We enjoy being by the Marina with its beautiful walking trails and our employees are within walking distance or a short drive to a variety of restaurants in the Marina, the Public Market and the Bay Street mall.”
Art.com has been in 2100 Powell since moving from Oakland in 2004. Its revenue ballooned from $136 million in 2010 to more than $200 million in 2012 under the leadership of CEO Geoffroy Martin.
The company houses more than 200 employees in its Emeryville headquarters.

Read More on SF Business Times.com →


IBM to Acquire Aspera to Help Companies Speed Global Movement of Big Data

IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire Emeryville, CA-based Aspera, Inc. Aspera’s technology helps companies securely speed the movement of massive data files around the world. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Licensed to clients and partners either in the cloud or on premise, Aspera’s high-speed transfer technology reduces transmission times for large files or data sets by up to 99.9 percent – potentially cutting a 26 hour transfer of a 24 gigabyte file, sent halfway around the world, down to just 30 seconds. Aspera’s patented fasp™ technology overcomes inherent bottlenecks in broadband wide area networks that slow the transfer of extremely large files, such as high-definition video or scientific research files, over distance.
Companies today are struggling to manage increasing volumes of structured and unstructured data created by everything from sensors to social media. They must accelerate the velocity of sending and receiving this data to improve competitiveness in a variety of ways – including the ability to more quickly uncover valuable business insights, bring products to market faster and improve employee productivity. This becomes even more critical with the growing adoption of cloud computing, where companies need a more effective way to transport extremely large files to and from cloud platforms. Aspera moves Big Data to, from and within the cloud faster than traditional methods while providing security, bandwidth control and predictability.

Read More at the IBM.com News Room →

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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