AUO Display Plus Acquires Digital Signage Software Platform Rise Vision in $29M Deal

AUO Display Plus Acquires Digital Signage Software Platform Rise Vision in $29M Deal
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The long-running digital signage CMS software firm Rise Vision has been acquired by AUO Display Plus, a business unit of Taiwanese manufacturer AU Optronics.

Rise Vision in a prepared statement says:

Rise Vision will continue to operate as you’ve come to expect, easy to use software, new templates added each week to save you hours of content creation time, amazing customer service that replies within one business hour, and simple, affordable pricing.

In short, there will be no significant changes to what you’ve come to love and expect from us. The acquisition will, however, provide us with an opportunity to expand the depth of solutions we can provide you in the future.

If you have some history with this industry, and are paying attention, your first reaction might be: "But I thought AUO already acquired ComQi and then ComQi acquired John Ryan?"

Those are two companies that also have digital signage CMS software. But AUO Display Plus is a different business division, self-described as "the industrial and commercial display subsidiary of AUO Corporation. We offer a complete end-to-end display service, from R&D, through to sales and customer service. AUO Display Plus picks up the baton from AUO, leveraging 20 years of experience to provide a comprehensive range of products to customers worldwide."

Display Plus is in the same buildings in Hsinchu, Taiwan as the mother ship, so there are not many degrees of separation. The US HQ is in Boston.

AUO is one of the biggest display manufacturers on the planet, but its brand is little known among consumers because much of what it makes is white label displays for other manufacturers. So a flat panel from Brand X might very well have really been manufactured by AUO.

The deal was actually struck in late April, but it has taken several weeks to fully close. I can't read transaction filings to save my life, but what I can glean from the filing on this is that it is a 100% equity deal and that it is valued at about $29 million USD.

It says "Total monetary amount of the transaction will not exceed USD 29,250 thousands." There will be some reason why securities lawyers use that curious approach, but it is the opposite of simple.

Good deal for the founders and principals at Rise, who have been at this for a very long time and were early innovators in areas such as cloud, Google integration and totally dispersed, virtual workforces. I'd imagine one of the reasons AUO was interested in the firm is its deep user base in education, which the AUO Display Plus web sites suggests is a key market.

 

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