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Soft Landing For Boxee Backers In Samsung Deal

Not every startup turns to gold, and not every exit ends up generating millions of dollars in profit for the founders. Case-in-point, Friday’s sale of Boxee to Samsung.

Samsung today said it purchased Boxee, an open-source media player that plugs into your TV, with reports pegging the sale at around $30 million — though Samsung didn’t give a price.

If that price is accurate, in startup culture, this kind of sale is called a “soft landing.”

Assuming all the investors in the company — which raised around $26.5 million — had a one-to-one liquidation preference (this is not always the case, but Boxee has only raised a few rounds of funding) they should get their money back. Barely. Among Boxee’s venture capital backers are Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital.

Unfortunately, in these situations, the founders and the team are often left without much to show for their work in terms of profit — though TechCrunch reports that they are all going to be hired by Samsung as part of the deal.

But don’t feel too bad for Union Square and Spark Capital. Both of those firms also recently had a massive exit thanks to Yahoo acquiring Tumblr, giving the young David Karp and his investors a hefty $1.1 billion.

We’ve reached out to people at Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures to find out more details about the deal and will update as we find out more.

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