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July 22, 2009

Open Source Video Provider, Kaltura Teams Up With Wikipedia

Filed under: Start-up Companies Reviews — admin @ 8:58 am

As the internet is getting more advanced and able to handle more bandwidth, video is becoming a more frequently used medium on the internet. Until now, however, video on the internet could be a problem, since certain plugins would be needed to view these videos. Because of the near monopoly of Windows, many videos run together with only Microsoft Internet Explorer in conjunction with Windows Media Player. If you were using Mozilla’s FireFox browser for surfing the net, unless you download the right plugins, viewing video on FireFox would have been impossible. Furthermore, if you are a Mac user, you would be also out in the cold. This is the reason why Apple created Flip4Mac, which is a plugin that simulates Windows Media Player and allows to view Windows compatible videos on your Mac using the Safari browser.

Adobe created the Flash Player, which is compatible with both Windows and Mac and provides a much smoother video streaming experience. Now, however, Kaltura arrives on the scene and is about to revolutionize the way video is being viewed on the net.

What makes Kaltura stand out from other internet video technology is its innovative open source video platform, which allows you to all kinds of things with your video, including developing your own video apps.

Kaltura’s video platform is based on a modular platform that is built with Kaltura Widgets, which are building blocks that are completely customizable to the advertiser’s needs. These widgets can be customized in all kinds of different ways, including skinning and combining different workflows, generating new video based apps. All the ways that Kaltura Widgets can be customized are listed below.

One of the most common methods to customize these widgets is by first collecting and then ingesting content into the stream. Basically, creating, collecting and ingesting content is the best way that you can promote user generated video on your website. Collecting and ingesting content allows users on your website to upload and import their content and add it to video on your site. This can be great for social networks which use video content. Furthermore, video ingestion can be used to upload different resolutions of video, including HD video streams.

Kaltura also allows you to create your own video players with your own feel. With the ability to publish your own content, you can create your own playlists, publish all kinds of video resolutions, including HD. Furthermore, for those of you, who are online merchants, you can use Kaltura’s platform to market and merchandize your product and have it on your website in high quality video, in the end attracting buyers to your site and increasing your revenues.

You can also manage and create your own apps. Developing your own apps can give you the ability to create something completely different. You can go into the Kaltura video gallery and see what exactly can be done with your videos. The possibilities can be endless, from creating your own video blogs to immersing branded entertainment with your videos. You can also create video wikis.

Kaltura is based in Brooklyn, New York and is a privately owned company which has recently been in the news because of its work together with Wikipedia.

According to an article from Softpedia, dated July 18, 2009, video will be coming soon to Wiikpedia. The article basically states that there have been rumors around that Wikipedia is working to support video formats. Lately, the Wikipedia foundation has been coming out with more information about the new Wikipedia video platforms. The article further states that Wikipedia has tried several avenues, but what seems to work the best is that using tags, such as

Another article, on Read, Write, Web; dated July 18, 2009, states that Wikipedia has developed a video portal using a player known as an Ogg and for FireFox users, Wikpedia has created a video fireogg plugin. The article further states that Wikipedia is working closely with Kaltura in developing its video platform.

In a Cnet article dated July 17, 2009, Wikpedia will launch its controversial video player. The article further states that Wikipedia’s choice of the Ogg Theora as a video platform has caused quite a fracas in the web. Where the more prominent companies, such as Apple and Google both prefer the macro video formats, such as that provided with the Adobe Flash Player, Wikpedia has chosen to go with this new video format pioneered by Kaltura.

Yet another article published by Wired Magazine also states that Wikipedia is going video. In an article dated June 18, 2009, Wikipedia officials have gone to New York and worked together with Kaltura to develop a user edited video platform for Wikipedia that is not shackled by copyright infringement laws. The article further states that along with Kaltura and the Mozilla Foundation to name a few.

Kaltura was founded in 2006 by Ron Yakutiel, Dr. Shay David, Dr. Michal Tsur, and Eran Etam with the intention of revolutionizing online video streaming. All three founders have vast experience in marketing, advertising, and the media industry as well as being seasoned entrepreneurs who founded several other companies before hand.

Mr. Yakutiel has great entrepreneurial experience and has founded a whole slew of successful companies in Israel, the United States, and Canada in the internet, mobile applications, and security industries. Mr. Yakutiel was also a helicopter pilot at one time and enjoys traveling to remote and exotic places, such as Papua New Guinea and the Amazon. Mr. Yakutiel also enjoys shark fishing, scuba diving, sky diving, and bungee jumping. Mr. Yakutiel graduated from the Wharton School of Business with honors and received an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management. Mr. Yakutiel also still currently works at Kaltura as the company’s CEO.

Dr. David is a great asset to the company because of his broad experience in ventures in the tech industry, starting companies, and helping large enterprises turn ideas into products. Dr. David graduated from Cornell and got his PhD. Dr. David enjoys world travel. Dr. David also currently works at the company as the Vice President of Business and Community Development.

Dr. Tsur has deep experience in entrepreneurship and has started many startups in the tech industry and has the knowledge to boot it up. Dr. Tsur is very athletic and is an avid swimmer. She enjoys competitive swimming and tri-athletics. Dr. Tsur also enjoys hiking and is a mother of two. Dr. Tsur graduated from the University of New York and received her PhD in Application and Game Theoretics. Dr. Tsur also works at the company as President.

Mr. Etan also has experience in founding companies and was a cofounder of ICQ and also worked there as the Vice President of R&D. Later, ICQ was acquired by AOL for over $407 million. After that acquisition, Mr. Etan was a Vice President at AOL for a while and then went on to found other internet startups. Mr. Etam enjoys spending his spare time with his wife and children.

Kaltura’s investors include Avalon Ventures, which invested $2.2 million in series A funding, and 406 Ventures, which invested an undisclosed amount in series B funding in 2008.

Based in San Diego, Avalon Ventures is a vc firm that mainly invests in seed and early stage companies in the life sciences and IT industries both locally and across the United States. Founded in 1983, Avalon has eight venture funds totaling over $11 billion. Some other companies in Avalon’s portfolio include Afraxis, Carolus Therapeutics, Otonomy, SimulMedia, and others.

406 Ventures is a vc firm that invests in companies which have an innovative product in the IT industry. The vc firm was founded by seasoned entrepreneurs who have the know-how in starting a business from the ground up. 406 Ventures was founded in 2005 and identifies the latest trends in the IT industry and invests accordingly. Some other companies in 406 Ventures include Ambient, Bit9, Mashery, Memento, RatePoint, VeraCode, and others.

Kaltura does not have any noteworthy competitors as of yet.

For more information about Kaltura, click here.

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