Vidyo Funding To Help Video Conferencing Push


Vidyo has gained additional funds as it seeks to take of the video conferencing might of Polycom and Cisco

The increasingly competitive video communications space could see fresh impetus after Vidyo, which is trying to challenge heavyweights Cisco and Polycom, gained $22.5 million (£14.6m) in new funding.

Vidyo officials said the money from Series D round of financing will be used to boost its sales and marketing activities around the world to grow the adoption of their software-based video collaboration offerings, which include mobile, desktop and room systems, as well as immersive telepresence environments.

Investors in the latest round of financing, which brought the total amount raised by Vidyo since its founding in 2005 to $96 million (£62.5m), include existing investors Menlo Ventures, Rho Ventures, Star Ventures and Four Rivers Group. The financing round was led by QuestMark Partners.

Platform Portability

“Vidyo is the only company that offers a telepresence solution that extends from an immersive room to desktops and iPads or Android mobile devices, on a single infrastructure,” Vidyo co-founder and CEO Ofer Shapiro said in a statement. “Vidyo is fortunate to have outstanding investors who understand the architectural shift occurring in the market today and customers who will no longer pay the excessive cost of traditional telepresence when they can truly have more for less.”

Vidyo over the past year-plus has rolled out offerings designed to lower the cost of adopting and deploying video collaboration offerings. The company’s also looked to partner with other tech vendors – most recently with Ricoh – to expand the reach of their products in the market.

At the core of Vidyo’s platform is the VidyoRouter, which utilises the vendor’s Adaptive Video Layering architecture and is designed to deliver high-definition multipoint conferencing to various endpoints, from mobile devices and desktops to conference rooms. In addition, the company in June unveiled VidyoPanorama, a telepresence offering that company officials said comes in at a fraction of the cost of systems from Cisco and Polycom.

Vidyo is trying to fill the gap between the higher cost offerings of its competitors and the offerings from vendors like Skype, which may be less expensive but also offer fewer choices and lower quality.

“You’re always trying to manage these tradeoffs,” Young-Sae Song, vice president of product marketing at Vidyo, said in an interview with eWEEK at the time. “Then there’s us. We’re trying to bring the high quality without the high costs.”

Other vendors, including Radivision and ShoreTel, also are looking to be the low-cost alternative to Cisco and Polycom, both of which have made significant moves over the past year to bulk up their portfolios – Cisco with its acquisition of Tandberg and Polycom with its purchase of HP’s visual communications products.

Big Gun Challenge

However, those larger companies also are looking for ways to reduce the cost of video collaboration and expand their reach, which will put more pressure on the likes of Vidyo.

Polycom officials 14 September unveiled a significant software strategy aimed at bringing HD video collaboration to a wide range of environments – from business to social networking to mobile – and through a variety of methods, including on-premise, hosted or the cloud via service providers. Polycom’s goal is to increase is run rate from about $1.5 billion (£978m) now to $3 billion (£1.9bn) in the next few years.

The software strategy, which includes a rebranding of its open software platform from the UC Intelligent Core to the Polycom RealPresence Platform, is designed to bring Polycom’s solutions into as many environments as possible, and to make it flexible enough to adapt as the industry and customer demands evolve, according to President and CEO Andy Miller.

“Polycom is known for the innovative solutions that have been powering business communications for nearly 20 years and our software is at the core of enabling a highly differentiated customer experience,” Miller said in a statement. “Moving forward, Polycom software will be increasingly present in desktop, mobile, and social networking platforms as Polycom captures the fast-growing demand for HD video collaboration that is open, secure, and integrated into each customer’s work and social environment.”

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