Startup Qwilt Raises $24M To Develop Video Delivery Platform For Service Providers
Looking to cash in on the expected growth of over-the-top video being delivered across service provider networks, last week Qwilt announced that they have raised $24M in two rounds of VC funding, with one of the investors being RealNetworks founder Rob Glaser as well as some of the original VC’s that invested in Facebook and Netflix.
Qwilt has spent the past two years on the platform which is still being developed and tested and the company expects to launch their offering sometime in the first half of next year. What exactly Qwilt’s solution will look like and how it technically works, the company isn’t saying. But from a high level, Qwilt is a software play that is layered on top of commercial hardware platforms and includes four main components including a DPI product tailored for video, an optimized storage system, a video server and an analytics platform.
It’s great to see more vendors coming to the market to help carriers deliver video more efficiently, but Qwilt already has some very serious competition in the market. Qwilt says they feel their solution is different in that it is “carrier grade” and can be “dropped in without any configuration of the network” and while that sounds good in theory, it’s also some of the exact same selling points other vendors make, including folks as big as Cisco. So Qwilt really has their work cut out for them in entering this market.
The one advantage Qwilt or any vendor like them has when developing a product like this is that today, HTTP is the key application protocol. Even as little as a few years ago this was not the case and trying to develop platforms for video was much harder. In addition, while most vendors are scrambling to try and grab as much of the market share today as they can, Qwilt feels, and I agree with them, that we are in the very early stages regarding the growth of video across service provider networks. Qwilt says they see no need to have to rush into the market and can afford to wait another 24 months until the market is more mature.
Without a product on the market and more details on exactly how Qwilt’s technology works, it’s hard to say how successful they can be. But service providers have only just begun building and deploying video delivery platforms and while the volume of traffic they are seeing today sounds like a lot, it will be nothing compared to what it looks like 24-36 months from now. And that is exactly what Qwilt is betting on, the long-term impact video is going to have on service providers and the expected growth of the market in the coming years.