Bonded cellular technology provider LiveU reported that it has closed a $27m funding round, bringing the total amount raised by the company to approximately $50m.
The round was led by new investor Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation by existing investors: Canaan Partners, Carmel Ventures and Pitango Venture Capital.
The company says it will use the funding to expedite its product development and global expansion, as it moves “from being a product-based to solutions-based company.”
LiveU has did not disclose the terms of the deal, nor did it reveal other financial metrics such as revenue, profitability, growth, and margin performance. However, CEO Sam Wasserman said his company’s “year-on-year growth is a testament to our technological leadership and the fast-growing demand for cellular-based live video transmission in the broadcasting and online media markets. This substantial investment will enable us to expand our mobile offerings, continue our technological innovation and extend our geographical presence.”
LiveU is one of a number of bonded cellular vendors whose technology multiplexes multiple 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi data channels in order to create a constant link with sufficient bandwidth to send SD or HD images back to the studio. These vendors are hoping to disrupt the broadcast ENG and contribution markets.
Proponents of the technology say that it brings radical change to ENG applications because it’s quick to set-up, and does not require broadcasters to deploy an expensive (and time-consuming to set-up) ENG van to cover breaking events.
However, the technology comes with a major potential downside. Broadcasters relying on bonded cellular are not always able to control the availability of wireless network bandwidth. In a crowded area, like a stadium, courtroom, or breaking news location, it may be difficult to gain access to sufficient bandwidth, resulting in severe image degradation. Several news organizations have experienced that problem at recent news events in Chicago and Denver.
To overcome these issues, some vendors, including LiveU, offer their products as part of a service bundle, which may also included dedicated cellular or WiFi bandwith. This helps users remove the risk and complexity associated with data roaming and crowded spectrum. It also benefits users by giving them the option of moving their technology costs from CapEx to OpEx.
Bonded cellular systems were used extensively to cover the 2012 Olympics, the recent US presidential election, and Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of the east coast of the US earlier this month.
This technology is here to stay, and is likely to have a significant impact on the broadcast ENG and contribution markets - areas that Devoncroft will be covering in detail in a market research report to be published in November 2012.
With this investment, LiveU is gearing up to position itself as one of the leaders in this fast-growing space.
Press Release: LiveU Closes $27M Funding Round to Drive Growth
© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.