Sky has invested a further $5 million in 1Mainstream, an OTT startup company that operates an automated platform for the distribution of linear and on-demand video to Internet-connected devices. The investment, which is in the form of a convertible debt security, builds on the $2 million already invested by Sky in August 2013.
1Mainstream’s platform provides automation technology to enable content companies to launch OTT services across multiple platforms – such as Apple TV, Xbox, Android TV and Samsung – in a matter of weeks and with almost no upfront costs.
Since its initial investment, Sky has used the 1Mainstream’s platform to significantly broaden distribution of its OTT services such as Sky News and NOW TV to its growing digital audience.
As part of this transaction, 1Mainstream plans to create a new subsidiary, with Sky as a shareholder, focusing on new product concepts.
The expansion of the partnership with 1 Mainstream builds on Sky’s ongoing programme of investing in startups that continue to innovate and gain market share. It follows recent investments in the cross-platform network Whistle Sports; online video aggregator Pluto.TV, and US ad tech firm Sharethrough. To sustain its innovation leadership, Sky partners with technology leaders to identify new ways of producing and distributing content, fresh ways of giving customers control over their entertainment and home communications, and helping Sky become more effective or efficient business when it comes to customer service, marketing or enterprise technology.
Emma Lloyd, Sky’s Director of Corporate Business Development and Startup Investments, commented: “We are delighted to be demonstrating our commitment and belief in 1Mainstream by making this additional investment. Our partnership is a great example of the way in which we find innovative and forward-looking startups that support our key business goals. We’ve already seen the real value by extending the distribution of our content onto new platforms and into new geographies. The 1Mainstream team have some exciting new product ideas in the pipeline and we look forward to exploiting those in the future.”
Rajeev Raman, CEO and Co-founder of 1Mainstream, commented: “It’s hard to overstate Sky’s role in our development and growth. Their spirit of innovation and ability to partner with a young organization is a rare and potent combination that we are very excited to be a part of. The opportunity to jointly define and build the next generation of digital OTT services is phenomenal. We are very much looking forward to expanding our partnership.”