Israeli startup Hola has closed a $17 million Series C round of financing to accelerate video delivery. Iris Capital (an Orange and Publicis Group strategic partnership) led the round, joined by Hola’s existing investors Li Ka-shing's Horizon Ventures, DFJ, and others. The company has raised $30 million to date. The latest funding will enable Hola to cut video publishers’ costs for delivering video by 90%, while increasing reliability and speed.
The Hola CDN, a video distribution network for publishers, aims to make the video viewing experience on all sites as good as it is on YouTube, and for a dramatically lower cost than today’s video delivery alternatives. Hola CDN consists of a global network of dedicated servers running Hola’s P2P technology coupled with code running on the viewer’s side that utilizes that network. Unlike traditional CDNs, Hola CDN streams video to the viewers from multiple sources (servers) in parallel, at high utilization levels, and leverages servers in lower-cost regions. This slashes prices for video distribution in any geographic location, while increasing speeds and reliability. With the latest round of funding, Hola will grow its engineering and product teams to build out the network’s robustness as it goes to the mainstream market after several years of development.
Hola CEO Ofer Vilenski said, “Making the Internet faster has always been our passion. We’ve taken everything we’ve learned from building and managing a P2P network with our 52 million consumer users and built a P2P CDN network that pools server resources to create new cost efficiencies and capabilities that provide video publishers unmatched cost savings with increased quality.”
Based in Netanya, Hola was founded by CEO Ofer Vilenski and CTO Derry Shribman who previously founded Jungo in 2000. Jungo, which developed residential and business gateway software platforms and applications, and which was sold to NDS in 2006 for $107 million.
The Hola CDN is already in use with 12 video publishers that are participating in a pilot program and will achieve general availability in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Iris Venture Capital partner Jacky Abitbol said, “We are excited to take part in Hola’s entrance into video CDN and the innovation they are bringing to address the ever-growing bandwidth of video distribution. Its market-leading P2P technology is already dominating two major markets and now will disrupt the $5 billion/year CDN market. We look forward to watching the company grow and expand its talented team to create a competitive product and build a strong presence in a dynamic market.”
A portion of the round consisted of stocks purchased directly from employees. Hola does this regularly, to allow talented employees to benefit from their contributions to Hola’s continued success. Hola is increasing its engineering and product management talent from 75 to 200 employees over the next 12 months.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 16, 2015
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