Criterion kills Kangaroo

Criterion Capital Partners has pulled funding for on-demand video service SeeSaw, causing the portfolio company to shut down. In June, Criterion bought a 75 percent stake in the business, formerly dubbed ‘Project Kangaroo’.

San Francisco-based Criterion has pulled its investment in portfolio company SeeSaw, according to press reports. The investment firm bought a 75 percent stake in the business for more than £10 million in July, but its failure to commit funding has meant the company has been forced to discontinue operations, the reports said. 

Criterion could not be reached for comment. 

Aqiva, former majority stakeholder which retained 25 percent of the business, released a statement about the matter: “Having completed the sale of SeeSaw in July, Arqiva is very disappointed by the failure of the new investors to provide their committed funding. Without that funding the service had to close.”

SeeSaw was formerly known as “Project Kangaroo”, an online on-demand video service initiated by television networks ITV, Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide. The initiative faced months of stalling from the Office of Fair Trading and opposition from BSkyB, claiming that the service would be “too powerful” in the hands of the original ownership. 

SeeSaw has encountered various problems over the past few months as investors have failed to inject promised capital into the project. In September, media reports said that Channel 4 withdrew hit shows such as The Inbetweeners and Skins. 

Following closely after, Michael Jackson, the former chief executive of Channel 4 and chairman designate to SeeSaw, walked away from his post and refused to return regardless of whether the financing turned up at all.