Friday, February 18, 2011

Kaltura Secures $20 Million Investment to Further Disrupt the Online Video Space

This week Kaltura announced that it has secured $20 million in new financing led by new investors Nexus Venture Partners, with participation from Intel Capital and existing investors .406 Ventures and Avalon Ventures, and technology lender Silicon Valley Bankers. The open source online video platform has been on a steady growth path over the last 18 months and boasts over 100,000 publishers in a variety of markets and verticals in media and entertainment, enterprise, education and service providers. Kaltura offers a SaaS solution, a complete self-hosted solution and a free community edition of its open source video platform.

I caught up with Ron Yekutiel, Kaltura's CEO and Chairman, at NewTeeVee Live in November 2010, where he initially announced the C round funding with details to follow. We discussed Kaltura's 2010 year-end review, which for Kaltura was a phenomenal year of growth with 80,000 downloads of its code in 2010 alone, which he said is 60 times all the other industry combined. Part of that growth is measured with Kaltura's Community Edition, first released in 2009 at OSCON Open Source Convention as a completely free and fully functional self-hosted version its video management platform. Yekutiel said that with implementations in web management systems like Drupal, Joomla or Wordpress and learning management systems Moodle, Sakai or Blackboard Kaltura's platform is not just one application, but a myriad of applications, all of which have different parts of Kaltura connected into them.

When I spoke with Yekutiel earlier in the year at Streaming Media East 2010, he emphasized that Kaltura's two key differentiators are flexibility and control for online video publishers, with full control of Flash, Silverlight and HTML5 video content, and the flexible new Kaltura Exchange which fosters third-party development for their open source video platform. For Kaltura, this is how it sets itself apart from the rest of the OVP market.

In terms of Kaltura's growing customer base, Yekutiel noted many big name companies like Fox, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, HBO, NBA and a long list of others have become customers and are consuming not only licensed software but also development, maintenance and support. Kaltura also saw customer gains in the enterprise with Bank of America, Texas Instruments, Coldwell Banker, Best Buy, Siemens and in the education space, there's been a "landslide" of universities joining, with Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, NYU, Columbia University and all the Ivy League schools but Brown University, which they are working on.

Yekutiel said that a lot more service providers that have their own cloud and want to offer solutions are joining Kaltura as resellers of its OVP. An example he gave is Sport One in Europe, a large sports channel that many of the OVPs had bid on, but lost out to a local hosting provider that bundles and resells Kaltura's offerings. While Sport One didn't choose Kaltura directly, they became a customer through the local reseller, which Yekutiel referred to as small "Kaltura Mini-me's" that become OVPs in the local markets, and are really disrupting the industry.

Other key highlights for Kaltura in 2010 included, a number of new features and capabilities, in response to the latest developments within the online video ecosystem, such as HTML5 video playback. This led to big news with Adobe's announcement last October of its HTML5 video player widget based on Kaltura's HTML5 Media Library – already in use by Wikipedia – that works in all major browsers and includes a full set of HTML5 video tools – video and audio players, uploader and editor.

Yekutiel said Adobe's adoption of Kaltura's open source code creates great opportunities for the industry:
"This was a very historical release saying that Adobe's not anymore just about Flash, but also about HTML5 and after serving the whole industry and choosing if they could build their who le thing from scratch, they actual decided to adopt our code and offer it to everybody as the Adobe code. Which speaks volume on our ability to provide best of breed solutions."
Kaltura has been an early supporter of HTML5 video and earlier in the year, and with the Open Video Alliance and other partners, launched two new websites – Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia and, an industry resource for all things HTML5 video-related, including news, technology demos as part of a mass campaign to bring video to Wikipedia.
"This is one small example of a bigger trend, that is, people understand the benefit of an open source solution. Not only being inclusive of all the innovation that's happening out there, but being able to rope in the power of the crowds and the wisdom of of thousands of people that are developing on top of our system. And I'm proud to say that we started off the year with maybe a few hundred developers that helped us externally, and today we have more then 6000 developers in the community that are building. So the pace of innovation is second to none."
Yekutiel noted that in regards to the $20 million C round investment, the new investors symbolized the power his company has as an open source vendor. Naren Gupta from Nexus Venture Partners called Kaltura, "a company that is hugely successful by combining the best technology with a powerful open source business model", and Maria Cirino of .406 Venture called Kaltura "a juggernaut" that is "led by a passionate group of world class entrepreneurs" and well positioned serve the exploding online video market.

Yekutiel believes Kaltura is disrupting the online video space "in a similar way to how open-source Red Hat™ and MySQL™ have disrupted their fields of operating systems and databases," and said the new investment will be used in the following way:
"To continue its momentum in the market and keep ahead of the curve, Kaltura is looking to further grow its team to increase development and professional services. We are also looking to expand into additional markets, including Europe, the Far East and India."

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About Kaltura
Kaltura provides the world's first Open Source Online Video Platform.  Over 100,000 media & entertainment companies, enterprises, SMBs, educational institutions, service providers, platform vendors, and system integrators use Kaltura's flexible platform to enhance their websites, web-services, and web-platforms with advanced customized video, photo and audio functionalities.  Kaltura's features and products enable easy deployment of custom work-flows involving video creation, ingestion, publishing, management, syndication, engagement, monetization and analysis.  The free community-supported self-hosted software and source-code is available for download at  A commercial version of the software can be obtained at along with Kaltura services such as streaming, hosting, transcoding, analytics, ad serving, support and maintenance packages, and professional development.  Founded in 2006, New York based Kaltura is a founding member of the ‘Open Video Alliance' (, a coalition of organizations dedicated to fostering open standards for online video.  For more information:, and Follow @Kaltura and join the Facebook and LinkedIn groups.

Updated: 2/20/2011 Additional quote about what the money will be used for.