Bitmovin, provider of video infrastructure for the web and Y Combinator alumnus (S15), has completed a $10.3 million Series A round led by Atomico. The funds will be used to accelerate the development of video playback technologies for existing and new platforms, including 360-degree video for virtual reality (VR).
Angel investors backing the company include a number of big names in the video and virtual reality spheres. David Helgason, founder of Unity, Chris Kaiser, former VP of engineering at Netflix and YouTube, and Edward Kozel, former CTO of Cisco, have all participated in the round, together with Dawn Capital, SpeedInvest, and Y Combinator.
Bitmovin was founded by the co-creators of the MPEG-DASH video streaming standard, which is used by industry leaders like Netflix and YouTube and currently accounts for 50 percent of U.S. peak internet traffic. The company is laying the groundwork for a future dominated by video content, as recent Cisco research indicates that by 2020, 80 percent of internet traffic will be video-based, including VR and 360-degree.
Today, Bitmovin provides a cloud-based video encoding service to companies and developers that is 100 times faster than real-time and other services on the market. It also offers the high-performance Bitmovin HTML5 player that plays video using the MPEG-DASH and HLS format on a range of platforms, including desktop, mobile, Smart TVs and VR headsets. This is particularly important because web browsers like Chrome, Safari and Firefox are fading out Flash as a video player, making a solid, cross-platform HTML5 player even more critical for online video providers. Bitmovin’s patented technology can reduce video loading times to less than 150 milliseconds, prevent buffering, and increase video quality for viewers. What’s more, they’re also leading the way in DRM protection for Hollywood-grade content, to ensure the protection of content creators.
“Bitmovin allows content providers to stream high-quality videos on any platform, with the lowest buffering times and highest quality performance, while making it as easy as possible for developers to build services using our API. We are not just solving today’s problems. We also offer the best infrastructure for virtual reality streaming and 360-degree video, which means we are helping developers and entrepreneurs offer the latest in video technology to increasingly tech-savvy consumers,” said Stefan Lederer, CEO of Bitmovin.
He continued by saying “This latest round of investment will help us to continue improving our product. At a time when net neutrality has risen up the political agenda, we are determined to increase the speed and quality of video playback on any platform whilst also reducing the bandwidth needed to power the technology. That is why we have been able to secure investment from one of the best SaaS VCs in the market and from some of the most impressive video and VR experts and angel investors.”
The investment, led by Atomico, will enable Bitmovin to grow its product, and further increase the speed and quality of video playback on any platform — including new platforms like VR — while also reducing the bandwidth needed to power the technology.