Hugh Dobbie’s South Surrey-based tech business Yare Media was recently acquired by California’s Visaic Inc. (SFU photo)

South Surrey tech company acquired by California business

Hugh Dobbie founded Yare Media in 2016, and 'will remain involved'

A South Surrey-based tech business that developed a sports streaming service utilized by organizations including the CFL has been acquired by a California-based media and technology company.

Yare Media founder and CEO Hugh Dobbie, noting he is headquartered in the Elgin area, shared a news release issued by Visaic Inc. announcing the acquisition on Nov. 16.

Dobbie said it was Yare’s platform and customer base that attracted Visaic.

In addition to the CFL, the streaming service – founded in 2016 – is used by more than 65 per cent of top tier (USPORTS) universities in Canada, Rogers Sportsnet and “numerous” other sports and entertainment organizations, Dobbie said.

In Visaic’s news release, the company states Yare offers a range of software tools for broadcasting video content over the internet; a service that “has been embraced by amateur sports associations, professional sports leagues, and major media organizations.”

“Together the companies will offer a scalable cloud-based content delivery and fan engagement solution for sports/esports, entertainment and enterprise,” the release states.

It describes Visaic as a “provider of cloud-based content delivery solutions” that “offers cinemas a rich portfolio of live internationally recognized sports and events such as: soccer, basketball, concerts, festivals, and other lifestyle content,” the release continues.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Visaic will acquire all outstanding shares of Yare.

Dobbie, who has lived in South Surrey since 2004, said combining forces with Visaic “will provide our clients a vast array of additional capabilities and technologies to further enable their fan engagement and growth strategies.”

The idea for Yare Media, he said, came while working at a streaming company headquartered in New York.

“Near the end of my tenure there I noticed a lot of sports properties were being under-serviced,” Dobbie told Peace Arch News via email.

“We were running out of big customers and our solution was proving to be too expensive for smaller sports properties,” he said. “An idea was hatched to try and deliver 80% of top tier sports platform capabilities at 20% of the cost.”

Yare also implemented a strategy to help more niche sports organizations monetize their content through subscriptions, sponsors and advertising, he said.

Dobbie noted that last month, Yare was ranked among Canada’s top 50 fastest-growing startups, by Canadian Business Magazine. The ranks are measured by revenue growth in the last five years.

According to the list – which put Yare at 43rd – the company’s two-year revenue growth was 868 per cent, with 2019 revenues of $1-2 million and three employees. Companies apply to participate in the program, and must have generated at least $1 million in revenue in the most recent fiscal year to qualify, according to information at canadianbusiness.com/startup-list-2020

The Visaic release said when YARE is combined with Visaic’s footprint, “it will also open up new channels of distribution.”

Dobbie said he’ll remain involved in a senior executive capacity, helping with sales, marking and strategies to expand into new international territories.


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