Israel-based Hola, a video distribution network provider for publishers, has raised $17 million in Series C funding. Iris Capital led the round.
TEL AVIV, Israel, September 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ –Hola announces today the closing of its $17M Series C round of funding to accelerate video delivery. Iris Capital (an Orange and Publicis Group strategic partnership) led the round, joined by Hola’s existing investors and key industry figures. The latest funding will enable Hola to cut video publishers’ costs for delivering video by 90%, while increasing reliability and speed.
The Hola CDN (holacdn.com) – a video distribution network for publishers – aims to make the video viewing experience on all sites be 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 has a track record of disrupting established industries and its entrance into the $5B video distribution market led by Akamai, Amazon and Level3 follows its other disruptions:
In 2013, Hola ended Internet censorship with Hola Free VPN (hola.org), which leverages its P2P technology to create a censorship-free Internet experience for 53 million users. This network continues to grow at a rate of more than 100,000 new users per day.
In 2014, Hola added transparency to the business intelligence market with Luminati (luminati.io), a P2P-based data mining service that enables businesses to harvest competitive online data which would otherwise be blocked by their competitors. Luminati’s fast revenue growth has made the startup profitable.
“Making the Internet faster has always been our passion,” said Ofer Vilenski, CEO of Hola. “We’ve taken everything we’ve learned from building and managing a P2P network with our 53 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.”
The Hola CDN is already in use with 12 video publishers that are participating in a pilot program and will achieve general availability in Q4 2015.
“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,” said Jacky Abitbol, Venture Partner at Iris Capital. “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. Hola values talent and productivity over geographic location, hiring software developers from around the world and allowing them to work from home. For more information on careers at Hola, go to hola.org/jobs.
Hola was founded by serial entrepreneurs Derry Shribman and Ofer Vilenski with the goal of dramatically improving the Internet’s infrastructure by building an overlay P2P network for HTTP. Much like Skype used P2P technologies to make phone calls cheaper and at higher quality, Hola is using P2P to make the Internet better – faster, more open and cheaper to operate. Hola is fundamentally changing three markets: consumer VPN, online business intelligence and video CDN networks. With more than 53 million users, and 100,000 additional downloads each day, Hola technology is proven at scale around the world. Hola has raised $30m to date. For more information, please visit hola.org. Join our winning team at hola.org/jobs.
About Iris Capital
Iris Capital is a European venture capital fund manager specializing in digital economy. Since its inception in 1986,the Iris Capital team has invested more than €1 billion in more than 250 companies. Iris Capital targets opportunities in service or technology companies, seeking growth capital in order to realize their strategy. It provides active support to its portfolio companies on the basis of its strong sector specialization and experience, and has offices in Paris, Cologne, Berlin, San Francisco, Montreal, Riyadh, Dubai, Beijing, Tokyo and Tel Aviv. In 2012 Iris Capital entered into a strategic partnership with Orange and Publicis to manage their joint venture capital initiative.
For more information: http://www.iriscapital.com