Tel Aviv-based startup Beamr, a leader in media optimization solutions, said it is acquiring Palo Alto-based Vanguard Video, a leading provider of HEVC and H.264 codec technologies, and raising a $15 million funding round led by Disruptive Growth, with the participation of Marker LLC and Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. This brings the startup’s total funding to $24.5 million.

The transaction positions Beamr, founded in 2009, as a global leader in H.264 and HEVC video encoding and optimization solutions, with over 80 employees and offices in Palo Alto, Tel Aviv and St. Petersburg, Russia, the company said.

Following the acquisition, Beamr will offer a full array of media compression and optimization solutions to its customers. By integrating Beamr’s unique video optimization technology into Vanguard Video’s
advanced encoder solutions, Beamr will achieve unprecedented levels of video quality at extremely low bit rates, allowing OTTs, Cable, Satellite, Telcos and mobile operators to deliver an exceptional viewing
experience over congested networks.

“Today’s announcement is exciting on many levels,” said Sharon Carmel, founder and CEO of Beamr. “From an industry perspective, the combination of Beamr and Vanguard Video brings unmatched solutions for the broadcast and OTT content delivery market. For Beamr, the acquisition is an important milestone, and we gladly welcome our new, talented colleagues from Vanguard Video, to the family.”

“On a personal note, it’s no secret that I’m fanatic about quality, and we have found that Vanguard Video’s encoders produce the best visual quality, at the lowest bit rates, with the highest performance levels. Together we will lead the video encoding market by far with unprecedented quality and performance,” he added.

Carmel is a serial entrepreneur with a proven track record in the software space. In 1994, he co-founded Emblaze (LON: BLZ), which developed the Internet’s first vector-based graphics player, preceding Macromedia Flash. The company went public in 1996, and in 2000 made a secondary based on its pioneering cellular video technology, reaching a peak market cap of $4B. In 2001 he founded his second start-up, BeInSync, which developed P2P synchronization and online backup technologies, and was acquired in 2008 by Phoenix Technologies (NASDAQ: PTEC).

Solutions that can maximize video quality per encoded bit rate are critical competitive features for content distributors who value visual quality while being sensitive to bandwidth availability on the network. For OTTs, the solution will enable users to stay below newly-imposed ISP data caps, while still enjoying full HD content on a variety of connected devices.

“We are privileged to be joining forces with Beamr,” said Irena Terterov, founder & CEO of Vanguard Video. “We are confident in the value this transaction will bring to the industry while enabling customers of both companies to strengthen their competitive position and secure their consumers’ loyalty. Building on our proven performance and high quality customer base, we are eager to move forward as an integrated company, to deliver a complete suite of high-performance encoding and media optimization solutions available locally and via the cloud, with full support for future standards and technologies.”

Beamr offers high-performance media optimization solutions for private, public and hybrid clouds that are scalable and fully virtualized, supporting the emerging Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
architecture. Vanguard Video’s encoders are available on both x86 and ARM HW platforms, and support the most popular operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Beamr is a global leader in media optimization solutions, powering some of the world’s top web publishers, social networks and media companies. Beamr offers a patent-pending perceptual video optimizer, which reduces the bitrate of H.264 and HEVC streams by up to 50%, preserving their full resolution and quality. By reducing video bit rates, Beamr enables content and service providers to distribute exceptionally high-quality video, with faster downloads and smoother streaming on bandwidth constrained connections.

Vanguard Video, founded in 1995, is a supplier of professional, broadcast-quality HEVC and H.264 codec technologies to top-tier customers around the world. With rich codec expertise, unparalleled performance/quality, and world class support and integration services, Vanguard Video has helped its customers capitalize on many first to market opportunities by pioneering advanced compression technologies including the release of the world’s first commercially deployed HEVC service. Vanguard Video technologies support a broad range of platforms including x86, ARM, and OpenCL acceleration for GPUs.

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