Ooyala raises $22M for total of $42M

The CID Group and ITOCHU back video platform

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
September 9, 2010
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(Correction: Updated total amount raised)

In an interview with VatorNews back in December 2008, then 21-year-old co-founder of online video platform Ooyala, Belsasar Lepe, gave out a useful tip for other entrepreneurs: “Don’t wear shorts to business meetings.”


But it appears that the three founders of Ooyala and their CEO Jay Fulcher, who joined the team in August 2009, know a thing or two about business.  Ooyala announced Thursday a $22-million round of funding, led by The CID Group and ITOCHU Technology Ventures, along with existing investors Sierra Ventures and Rembrandt Venture Partners.  Since its creation in 2007, the company has raised $42 million, and this most recent round was over-subscribed, making Ooyala a wellt-capitalized video platform company.

Since 2009, Mountain View, Calif.-based Ooyala has almost doubled its global customer base, and now serves over 550 customers and reaches over 100 million unique users each month. Revenue is also up 300% annually, since expanding into overseas regions, with offices in Paris, Guadalajara, Sydney, London, Los Angeles, New York, and its headquarters in Silicon Valley. High-profile clients, including Dell, Heart and Wenner Media, and Telegraph Media Group.

The company’s newest investors will also add to Ooyala’s global reach.  The CID Group, which is headquartered in Shanghai, has a growing global portfolio.  Similarly, ITOCHU Venture Partners is part of ITOCHU Corporation, which is headquartered in Tokyo and has offices in 80 countries. 

The company’s platform operates by monetizing online video and it offers a wide array of features to do this, including Actionable Analytics, which allows businesses to see how many people are watching their videos and where.  The feature also provides real-time reporting so that users can make decisions to encourage viewership based on a viewer’s behavior.  The Backlot video platform shows clients how videos perform across different categories, including average time watched per video and average unique users per day, which enables businesses to determine which videos appeal to their customer base, how those customers are viewing the videos, and how they are responding to them.

“What we try to do is we try to learn more about the end user,” said co-founder Bismarck Lepe about the company’s advertising network platform, in a 2009 interview with VatorNews.  Bismarck, along with his brother Belsasar and Sean Knapp founded Ooyala in 2007. “What we do is we actually analyze the video as the video is going through and we extract meta information and then based on behavior we tie it back to what was actually happening on the screen. So if we notice that someone is always fast forwarding through ads whenever there are car ads and whenever they're watching a soap opera then we'll make sure that that mapping of ads to that type of content never happens again.” 

According to Knapp, the key to success is the people. “The important part that’s really made our company be successful… has been the team. It really does come down to the people.”

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