/// Qwilt, Maker of Super-Caching Gear for Video, Lands $16 Million Series C Round
It’s been awhile since I’ve thought of Qwilt, the company behind a line of video infrastructure that helps service providers like cable networks handle the growing demand for Internet video. It first came out of stealth mode in the fall of 2011, and when I learned that flash memory was used at the heart of its gear, I naturally added Qwilt to the “Flash Madness” club, that includes so many companies using the ubiquitous chip-based storage technology. A lot has happened since then. Tuesday the company will announce that it has landed a $16 million Series C round of venture capital funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Previous investors Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Marker LLC are also participating. The new round brings Qwilt’s total capital raised to $40 million. Qwilt’ mission is essentially the same since we talked back in 2011. The idea is to give service providers like Time Warner, Comcast and others the means to put popular Internet video content close to the users who want to watch it, thus making it easier to deliver. According to the reckoning of networking giant Cisco Sytems , consumer video accounted for about 57 percent of all Internet traffic around the world last year and will in time swell to about 70 percent by 2017. Therein lies the opportunity that Qwilt is going after. “It’s probably one of the biggest challenges that network operators are going to face in the next decade,” says Qwilt CEO Alan Maor. And that’s not just Netflix and YouTube and Hulu. Give it a few years — Chromecast anyone? – there will be a many more services, including a lot of live streaming of sports and news and probably a bunch of things we haven’t thought of yet. Qwilt’s software runs on commodity hardware which gets deployed at the neighborhood level. It grabs the popular stuff that consumers like the most, and maintains a local copy that that can be easily streamed from that location without taking up bandwidth on the carrier’s main network infrastructure. It’s now also starting to help improve the not only the load on the network but the quality of the viewing experience. For example, in the US, the average bit-rate on a YouTube video is improving by 58 percent. Since 2011, the Qwilt product has started shipping and the company has landed 25 deployments with customers.
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