Peter Kafka

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Web Video Startup Ooyala Raises $43 Million


iStockphoto | dny59

We saw a smattering of ad tech IPOs this year, and there are a bunch of companies that are supposedly lined up for next year.

Here’s one you likely won’t see going public in 2014 — at least not in the beginning of the year: Ooyala, the Web video startup.

The Mountain View-based company, which had already raised $79 million, just added $43 million in new funding, all from Telstra, the Australian telco.

The move indicates that Ooyala will stay private a while longer, says CEO Jay Fulcher: “I wanted to be able to go public when it’s the right time to, instead of having to.”

If you’re not in the Web video business, you’re unlikely to know who Ooyala is, because it’s not a consumer brand like YouTube or Hulu. It handles a variety of back-end video services, including distribution and ad serving, but its primary business is selling analytics about Web video usage, so video makers can figure out what kind of videos they should be serving up, and when they should be serving them. Customers include ESPN, Bloomberg and Comedy Central.

Telstra, which is both a significant Ooyala customer and a reseller of its service in Australia, had invested in Ooyala’s last round. Fulcher says a “small” amount of the most recent round represents secondary sales from the company’s founders and early employees.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik