Known for being the first company to bring Flash video to iOS, Skyfire has raised $10 million in Series D funding to take its video data compression technology to a global scale.
The round was led by new investor Panorama Capital. Previous investors Verizon Ventures, Matrix Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners also contributed.
“With the current boom in mobile video, we believe Skyfire’s cloud-based data optimization technology represents a disruptive advancement that will change the economics for wireless operators around the world,” says Shankar Chandran, a founding partner at Panorama Capital.
The company produces the Skyfire Rocket Optimizer that optimizes data, saving an average bandwidth of 50 percent for images and 60 percent for video. It strives to address a problem its CEO Jeff Glueck coined “mobile warming,” referring to the high capacity of data mobile carriers must grapple with to meet the video consuming demands of their customers.
The company’s technology works to identify which cell towers are overloaded and congested, and then reroutes overloaded traffic into the cloud when demanded. The company serves AT&T and Verizon as tier one customers, reaching over 200 million consumers, and is in talks with a number of other large carriers as well. Those two carriers alone have propelled it to a 100 percent annual growth rate, riding the huge wave of demand for more efficient bandwidth to meet the surge of online video’s increasing popularity.
The company first made a name for itself in 2010 by being the first to offer an app that enabled flash technology for iOS. The app essentially “sold out” on its first day as more than 200,000 downloads outstripped the company’s capacity to provide the app. Glueck gave an interview on CNN the next day to dispel rumors that Apple had removed the app. The app went on to become the top selling iPad app in 2011 with over 15 million downloads.
The company will use the new funding to meet its growing demand from mobile carriers and increase global and marketing efforts, as well as further expand into Europe and Asia. It also plans to expand its team and add to its London and Silicon Valley offices.
“Data deluge is crushing mobile operators, straining the user experience, and squeezing operating margins,” says Jeff Glueck, CEO of Skyfire. “Operators in Europe have announced that bandwidth on 4G LTE networks is being filled 85 percent by video alone. Our new funding lets Skyfire take our proven technology in North America to new regions on a global scale.”
Skyfire was selected last June as a Red Herring Top 100 North America Startup.