Today Sony announced an agreement to acquire Benchmark portfolio company Gaikai for $380MM in cash. In just four years, Gaikai built a revolutionary cloud technology platform for gaming. To see console-quality games streamed from the cloud to browsers, tablets and TV is truly magical. Congratulations to Gaikai on this tremendous achievement, and congratulations to Kaz Hirai and Andy House at Sony for their vision and bold action to make Gaikai a part of Sony, and cloud gaming a part of Sony's strategy in the future.
Benchmark was privileged to lead Gaikai's Series A financing back in the fall of 2009 and to participate in both subsequent rounds alongside Rustic Canyon and NEA. We were early believers in both cloud computing (Rightscale, Eucalyptus, Engine Yard) and next-gen game distribution (Riot, Meteor). We saw Gaikai positioned squarely at the intersection of these powerful trends.
Thanks to the great team at Gaikai for their creativity, diligent work and strategic nous. I had the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the senior team on site in Aleso Viejo when I served as executive chairman, and I saw Rui Pereira, Robert Stevenson, Brendan Irbe, Nanea Reeves, Mark Anderson and, of course, David Perry in action. They are all true professionals and fully deserve their success.
I particularly want to thank David Perry, Gaikai's CEO. I first met David when he was making the ground-breaking console game Aladdin and I was at Disney. While we crossed paths over the intervening years, Gaikai was our first opportunity to work closely together. Like all great entrepreneurs, David believed that his idea could change the world, and he went out and made it happen. He has been a relentless ambassador not just for Gaikai, but for the whole category. David saw a future for gaming in the cloud, and his leadership both at Gaikai and now at Sony is going to see that future realized.