On its way to becoming a “unicorn?” Israeli open-source video platform Kaltura has raised a whopping $50 million from American investment bank Goldman Sachs, reportedly bringing its total capital to $165 million, and its valuation to $500 million.
Kaltura’s $50 million round is one of the largest financing rounds by an Israeli startup in recent months (mobile taxicab service Gett recently raised $300 million; and ride-sharing startup Via raised $100 million in May.)
Founded in 2006 , Kaltura’s open-source video platform enhances websites with customized video, and additional functionalities. Considered a mature startup, it has 1,000 paying corporate and educational customers – including Viacom, Vodafone, HBO, ABC, Turner, Warner Brothers and Paramount – whose Kaltura-powered video content is seen by 700 million people every month.
This is Kaltura’s “pre-IPO funding,” according to the company, which signals it plans to sell its shares to the public in an initial public offering (IPO) on the stock exchange, rather than sell to a bigger corporation through an ‘exit.’
Kaltura, which employs roughly 400 people in Israel and in offices around the world, says it will use the capital raised to extend its footprint around the world, and “to further its unique positioning as the ‘everything video’ company.”
“Video is booming,” Ron Yekutiel, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “It is the favorite data type for communication, collaboration, teaching and learning, marketing and entertainment.”
He added that Kaltura “is in a unique position to capitalize on this huge market opportunity since it provides the broadest set of video products and capabilities to customers across all industries.”
In other words, the company’s mission is to “’videofy’ companies and organizations all around the world,” he says.
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Engaging audiences across devices
Though we can no longer imagine the internet without video content, it’s still – perhaps surprisingly – a tricky medium for many. Different formats, large file sizes and a variety of operating systems and devices can make the use of video on the web difficult. Kaltura’s open-source video code allows its customers to easily manage their videos, including uploading, streaming and editing, as well as analyzing the content.
Basically, the system identifies which type of video input it receives and processes it in a way that enables different types of videos to be displayed through the same output method. Kaltura handles the various details involving the use of video online: copyright, information control, quality assurance, analytics system, moderation systems, etc.
Other Kaltura solutions include enterprise video solutions, such as webcasting for executive communications, and educational videos; Harvard, Yale and Stanford all use Kaltura for teaching purposes, according to the startup.
“Excellence, agility, and leadership”
Michal Tsur, one of Kaltura’s founders, previously sold Cyota, an online security firm to RSA Security for $145 million in 2005. Shortly after, she founded Kaltura.
“Kaltura has developed market-leading technology with a flexible architecture that stands out to us as a strong and sustainable advantage,” Hillel Moerman, co-head of Goldman Sachs’ private capital investing group, said in a statement. “Kaltura has an impressive roster of marquee customers across a large and diversified set of markets, and an experienced management team that has demonstrated excellence, agility, and leadership.”
Photos and video: Courtesy