The ASK Proxima brand will return to the ProAV market next month at InfoComm. You may recall, back at the pinnacle of its existence (when it was literally the top install projector company in the U.S.), Proxima was purchased by InFocus and then promptly dismantled – a move that would easily make a great business school case study of how NOT to buy a company.
Some history: Back in March of 2000, InFocus purchased Proxima for a little under $500 Million. Headquartered in San Diego, the company was arguably the leading projector manufacturer in what was commonly referred to as the “install market” back then – basically, that means projectors that were used in systems (non-portable). They were the top brand in the education market and a top-three brand in corporate AV and government installs too. Most of its install projectors were actually manufactured by Sanyo. Our founder Gary Kayye happened to be at the Proxima headquarters the day that the Proxima folks were told of the InFocus purchase.
Within a few years, InFocus stopped using the Proxima brand and instead of capitalizing on the brand’s market positioning and distribution channel relationships, it faltered, stopped the Sanyo relationship and pretty much dropped the AV channel from its focus – it tried to exclusively sell through the IT channel.
After nearly 8 years of doing almost nothing with the Proxima brand, InFocus sold it to a Chinese projector OEM manufacturer called ACTO Digital Video Technology Co., Ltd. Acto has been marketing projectors under the ASK Proxima brand in Asia and some in Europe, but will make its debut in the U.S. at the June InfoComm show in Orlando. The U.S. headquarters will be in Torrance, CA.
According to the Acto announcement, it’s hired “top industry and well-respected professionals to lead ASK Proxima, Inc.’s research, engineering and development team” but didn’t disclose who they were in the announcement.
If you want to see the entire ASK Proxima lineup, go here: http://www.askproxima.com/en/index.aspx