Telstra takes stake in Elemental to boost video solution

Telstra has led a series D round of funding valued at $14.5 million in software-defined video solutions provider Elemental Technologies.

Telstra Ventures has made a majority equity investment in software-defined video solutions provider Elemental Technologies.

The financing is part of a $14.5 million series D round of funding led by Telstra, and is joined by Sky in the UK, along with participation from Elemental's existing investors, including Citrix and Nvidia.

Elemental helps media companies, including the BBC, Comcast, Foxtel, and HBO connect consumers with video content across multiple screens such as TVs, computers, laptops, smartphones, and other IP devices using software-defined video.

Elemental CEO and co-founder Sam Blackman said uniting the company's resources with Telstra would help it achieve its goal of executing a global strategy for IP video distribution.

For Telstra, this is one of a handful of investments the company has made in the last two years. Earlier in the month, it took a minority equity stake in Australian cloud-based business process guidance software solutions provider Panviva. It also took part in a $100 million investment round in cloud storage company Box in December last year.

Meanwhile, Telstra acquired Queensland-based information security, networking, and data management provider Bridge Point as part of its road map to strengthen its network and security solutions.

Telstra Ventures managing partner Mark Sherman said Telstra's equity investment will soon be combined with a commercial agreement that is currently being negotiated to allow the company to integrate solutions from Elemental into the company's network.

"This will provide media and broadcast customers with access to an award-winning video solution for multi-screen content delivery, and offer flexibility and scalability to ensure a great customer experience," he said.

"We also plan to use Elemental's solutions internally, across our large portfolio of media properties such as IPTV, Foxtel on T-Box, AFL, NRL, and BigPond movies to deliver high-quality video performance across a multitude of devices for customers."

He added that Telstra also intends to make Elemental cloud capability available to its media customers globally in virtual hosting facilities.

Telstra has been working hard to build its cloud offering over the past 12 months, after it committed AU$800 million over five years for cloud services and launched its global cloud-based unified communications service in partnership with Cisco in August. It also plans to host VMware's vCloud Air public platform in Australia from early next year.

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