OTT live streaming specialist Simplestream has secured an additional £2 million (€2.68m) in equity funding from a consortium including Beringea, a leading growth capital firm with a focus on media and technology companies, and YOLO Leisure and Technology, an AIM listed investment company. The investment will accelerate the expansion of Simplestream’s video streaming platform in the UK and internationally, and the continued development of TVPlayer, Simplestream’s B2C live TV streaming service, which is to be made available on a white-label basis.
YOLO advised on February 4 that it was investing £550,000 for a 5.1 per cent stake in the business.
Simplestream provides live streaming and live-to-VoD services, with broadcast clients including Discovery Networks, Scripps Networks, Box Television, QVC, At The Races and Turner Broadcasting amongst others. Simplestream’s cloud-based Media Manager solution enables broadcasters to securely live stream broadcast content to any device with minimal latency and gain significant workflow efficiencies through the automated creation of multi-bitrate, multi-platform video files from the live stream. The generation of long-form ‘catchup’ programming, with or without ad-breaks, and the creation of short-form video clips are supported via a single system.
Such is the growth in demand for live streaming services; Simplestream has seen 100 per cent revenue growth year on year since its Media Manager was introduced to the UK market in 2012. The company now delivers services across Europe and North America, with a focus on sport, music, news, faith and teleshopping channels. The additional funding enables the company to support the needs of much larger media companies and follows recent announcements that leading entertainment channels such as Food Network, DMAX and TruTV have deployed Simplestream’s Media Manager as part of their Over-the-Top strategy. The company is expected to announce multi-year contracts with several additional high profile broadcast companies this quarter.
Simplestream also owns and operates TVPlayer, a live TV aggregator of more than 50 free-to-air channels, enabling UK consumers to watch their favourite channels all in one place on desktop, mobile and tablet. The TVPlayer apps have been downloaded over one million times in the UK since they launched and are consistently rated 4/5 stars across both mobile and tablet. The TVPlayer platform, which is powered by Media Manager, supports live streaming, start-over, catchup, and on-demand viewing, together with in-built subscriber management, pay-per-view and device management capabilities.
TVPlayer is expected to be made available on a white-label basis in the coming months, and is targeted at platform operators looking to complement existing broadcast operations with OTT viewing.
Rob Hodgkinson, Investment Manager at Beringea, who will join the Simplestream board, commented: “The success of TVPlayer to date demonstrates there is significant demand for a multi-device aggregator of live TV in the UK market and internationally. We have been impressed by the progress made by Adam Smith and his team and are delighted to support the continued development of Simplestream and TVPlayer.”
Simon Robinson, AIM listed YOLO Leisure and Technology’s CEO, said: “We are very proud to join the Simplestream Board as an investor and partner in a TV platform of the future. The team are at the cutting edge of transformation in how customers view and consume Media and TV, as well as their ability to provide more cost effective and innovative solutions for broadcast media companies.”
Adam Smith, founder and CEO of Simplestream, added: “With the support of these value added investors, which gives Simplestream significant credibility, we are particularly excited by our sales pipeline as major broadcasters increasingly recognise the ability to access a younger demographic of audience through Simplestream’s live streaming and automated catch-up capabilities.”