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Deal Radar 2009: Kaltura

Posted on Monday, Apr 6th 2009

Today’s focus on Deal Radar is Kaltura, the first open source video platform for online video management, creation, interaction and collaboration. The New York-based company, whose development team is based in Israel, was founded by Ron Yekutiel, Dr. Shay David, Dr. Michal Tsur and Eran Etam in 2006. The founders felt that that there was no easy and low-cost way to collaborate in video and rich media online and formed Kaltura.

At a time when the number of publishers looking for online video solutions is growing, the online video space is becoming increasingly crowded and commoditized. Unlike proprietary video platforms, which are designed primarily for broadcasters and are often cumbersome, difficult to customize, and expensive, Kaltura’s platform designed to be flexible, and affordable. It claims to allow publishers to hit the market rapidly and cost-effectively.

The free, extensible platform is used by web publishers, value-added-resellers, and integrators to build video applications and customize rich media experiences while integrating with many popular content management systems. Further, Kaltura’s reference implementations and growing library of applications, extensions and plug-ins allows publishers to select off-the-shelf solutions for self-serve deployments that can be fully enabled within minutes. Further, Kaltura allows customers to download both their client and server code and use their functionality free, including self-hosting the content on their own servers and using their own Content Delivery Network (CDN) services should they choose to.

Kaltura’s revenue model is partially based on the classic open-source professional services, support, and maintenance fee model. While the platform itself is free, Kaltura profits by providing value-added services to its platform users such as custom work, hosting and streaming, CDN services, content syndication, video SEO, ad-serving, aggregation of other third-party services, and maintenance and support packages. Most customers who choose to self-host also opt for maintenance and support services (monthly charges) and professional services (strategic consulting and development charges).

The company penetrated the market using a two-pronged approach: it delved into direct sales focusing on large companies, media outlets and advertising agencies, and it developed downloadable extensions and plugins for leading web platforms, including a video plugin for WordPress blogs, a video module for Drupal and an extension for MediaWiki sites. Today, more than 21,000 publishers, including Wikipedia, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Universal Studios, PBS, Sesame Street, many NGOs, governments, and small private publishers are using Kaltura’s platform. The company also partnered with the Wikimedia Foundation to provide a collaborative video solution for Wikipedia. But its main focus remains mid-tier and long-tail sites, as well as third-party platform providers who want to enhance their offerings with video capabilities.

Kaltura is also a founding member of the Open Video Alliance (OVA), an umbrella organization of companies, non-profits and individuals who are interested in the open future of video on the web. The OVA plans to hold the first Open Video Conference in New York City on June 19-20, to discuss open video principles, technology integration, and open standards around video and rich media.

Kaltura was initially funded by the founders. It has raised a $2.1 million Series A led by Avalon Ventures in 2007 and an undisclosed Series B from .406 in 2008. The company is generating revenue, and expects to be profitable in 2010.

Kaltura expects to have more than 100,000 sites using its tools by the end of 2009. The company also plans to expand and focus on Asia Pacific and Europe in addition to the North American market.

Suggested Reading:
Deal Radar 2008: PermissionTV
Deal Radar 2008: Brightcove
Forbes Column 2009: Open Source Means Business

This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009


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