Subscribe to Inc. magazine

Motorola Acquires SetJam

The two-year-old start-up has recommendations and personalization technology that could be used in Motorola set-top boxes. Next stop: Google?
SetJam CEO Ryan Janssen

SetJam CEO Ryan Janssen


Motorola Mobility has bought two-year-old video discovery start-up SetJam for an undisclosed sum.

SetJam CEO Ryan Janssen wrote of the acquisition in an e-mail cited by VentureBeat: "I'm writing to let you know that today SetJam was acquired by Motorola Mobility. We are all very excited about this transition here at SetJam. Motorola and SetJam share the vision of making content delivery, discovery, and consumption seamless across any screen, and as a world leader in video technology, Motorola will provide us with unprecedented levels of reach and distribution."

Janssen, the former chief operating officer of online financial toolbuilder, founded SetJam in June 2009. Originally it aimed to be the TV Guide of the Internet, competing with companies such as Clicker and SideReel as it attempted to become the premier curator of videos online.

The odds were against SetJam from the start: It launched at the same time as, which had $8 million in venture capital funding compared to SetJam's $50,000. (As Janssen wrote at the time: "the URL of the start-up,  ',' probably cost more than the life savings I'd put into SetJam.") To date, the company has raised less than $1 million.

SetJam's products also include Web widgets that let businesses give customers an easy way to buy videos online. The company has an XML Download, which downloads its entire entertainment database to a user's computer. And–probably of most interest to Motorola–SetJam has recommendation and personalization technology that can be used in connected devices such as Motorola set-top boxes.

The technology could eventually make its way to Google–the online search giant is in the process of buying Motorola Mobility. The $12.5 billion acquisition still is under regulatory review. 


Last updated: Dec 23, 2011


Inc. contributing editor Courtney Rubin was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.

Register on today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments

Or sign up using: