Market Insight

Motorola Mobility invests in Ooyala

September 12, 2011

Irina Kornilova Irina Kornilova Manager – Research & Analysis, Broadband Media, IHS Markit

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Motorola Mobility has made an investment in online video platform (OVP) Ooyala in order to develop its multi-screen video experience on connected devices. Ooyala has more than 100 clients, including Bloomberg, ESPN, Telegraph Media Group, Dell, and TechCrunch, that use its platform to manage and deliver video services to PCs and connected devices. The company delivers over one billion streams to 100 million users per month.

The company recently announced the launch of Ooyala Everywhere which enables the delivery of video to mobile and connected living room devices and it is this functionality that is of principal interest to Motorola, bringing with it the potential to connect the company's set top boxes, mobile phones and tablets. Motorola already ships a home gateway which has the ability to transcode content and deliver it to devices on the in-home network; the Ooyala investment, however, is a nod to the importance that Motorola places on reaching multiple screens via a centralised distribution network.

Financial terms of the investment were not specified but Ooyala is believed to have previously raised $42m (as of September 2010), from investments by CID Group, Sierra Ventures and Rembrandt Venture Partners.

The investment in Ooyala in consistent with Motorola Mobility's investments - the company has invested in digital media companies including Catch Media and mobile-gaming firm Moblyn. Earlier this year Motorola Mobility acquired SunUp Digital Systems, who were developing operating software for IPTV, DTH, Digital Cable, and content distribution networks. SunUp's software enhanced Motorola's Medios multiscreen software platform, which manages: content ingest, metadata, transcoding, content marketing (e.g. recommendation and special offers) , security, and client-side interface.

Ooyala has the potential to compliment this earlier acquisition well, allowing service providers and video publishers to manage and monetise video offers across multiple devices.

Motorola Mobility is in the process of being acquired by Google for $12.5bn, in an acquisition widely thought to be about Motorola's portfolio of 17,500 patents. The process is on the stage of regulatory reviews, and when the deal goes through Motorola Mobility is due to continue to operate independently of Google. It is unknown if Motorola's investment in Ooyala was affected by Google acquisition. However, in an ironic move if the Google acquisition of Motorola goes through it means that Ooyala, that was founded by former Google staff, will find itself with Google as an investor.

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