Motorola Mobility invests in OVP Ooyala

Ooyala, the white-label online video platform that already has raised some $44 million in financing since its launch in 2007, today said Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) has invested an undisclosed sum in the company.

Last September, Ooyala raised $22 million--it actually had a second closing then to accommodate additional investor interest--and used the funding to expand its APAC presence. Just a couple of months later, it scored a big win with Yahoo Japan.

So far, there has been no indication what the funding from Motorola Mobility will be used for, but Ooyala has been aggressively playing in the mobile space, especially with tablets and smartphones.

Ooyala CEO Jay Fulcher, in an email, said he couldn't go into detail about the investment, except to say "this last round was all about increasing our pace of innovation, continuing to build and expand our footprint around the world and roughly doubling the size of our employee base over the course of 2011."

Wallace Pai, Motorola Mobility's vice president of corporate development and ventures, told CNET that Ooyala's recently launched Ooyala Everywhere initiative, which gives content owners the tools to deliver their products to multiple screens, fit well with MM's plans.

For Ooyala, which recently landed ESPN's business, the deal with Motorola fits its mission as well.

"The rapid acceleration of companies embracing online video as a way to connect with customers continues to fuel the exponential growth of our company," Fulcher said. "The strategic alignment between Motorola Mobility and Ooyala will help us provide video content and service providers with comprehensive services and technology solutions for delivering and monetizing highly relevant video experiences to consumers across all connected devices."

Motorola, of course, is being acquired by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) for $12.5 billion.

For what it's worth, Ooyala was founded by three former Googleites: Bismarck and Belsarsar Lepe and CTO Sean Knapp. Eighteen months ago, as the OVP space started to consolidate, conventional wisdom placed Ooyala right near the top of the list of companies likely to be acquired. When Google in April 2010 scooped up OVP Episodic, there were more than a few people surprised it hadn't been Ooyala.

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
Ooyala lands ESPN and its 1 billion+ video streams as a customer
Report: OVP Ooyala lands Facebook business
Ooyala lands Yahoo! Japan; investment in APAC region begins to pay dividends