Sezmi Hacks Headcount By 20%

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Sezmi has laid off 20% of its employees, or about 20 people, before the startup has commercially launched its broadcast-Internet hybrid TV service.

The venture-funded startup’s layoffs, reported Thursday by The New York Times, were confirmed by a Sezmi spokeswoman.

Sezmi last week announced that it completed a technical trial in Seattle with three broadcasters. The service blends together over-the-air TV with on-demand and linear cable and Web content, with a base offering planned to include more than 30 broadcast and cable channels.

Founded in June 2006 with the code-name “Building B,” the Belmont, Calif.-based company raised $17.5 million in funding from investors including Morgenthaler Ventures, OmniCapital Group, Index Ventures, TD Fund and Legend Ventures.

Sezmi has said it expects to launch service in the first half of 2009. It has yet to announce pricing or other details of the service, including which telco providers it will offer the service in conjunction with. Originally the startup had anticipated rolling out the service before the end of 2008.

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