Online video distribution firm SeaWell exits stealth, announces $7M Series A funding

Startup online video distribution company SeaWell Networks is exiting stealth mode and announcing a $7 million funding round led by BDC Venture Capital; the round also included Northwater Intellectual Property Fund and Ontario Centres of Excellence. SeaWell will use the funds to expand development and marketing efforts of their Internet video streaming solutions that will redefine how video content is delivered over the Internet.

The company, founded in the fall of 2008 by self-described serial entrepreneur Brian Collie, is testing a software solution that uses H.264 scalable video coding, that reduces cost of delivery for CDNs and content producers and also assures delivery of HD-quality content to any screen or device.

"The value proposition is pretty simple," Collie told FOLV. "For the end user, it's better quality. For the content producers or companies who are delivering it, it's less expensive and its more scalable. It's just more efficient."

SVC already is in use in video surveillance and video conferencing, but Collie says he believes SeaWell is the first to target it to the workload of the Internet video stream. Although he declined to name the partners he was testing the software with, he said SeaWell has been working with two of the largest U.S.-based content producers in early trials, and that results show the software produces quality "as good or better than adaptive streaming" with lower expense. Collie said SeaWell also would target CDNs, MSOs and telcos.

"This technology is absolutely game changing, and the technology actually works; it's not a pipe dream," said Collie. He acknowledges SeaWell is in a race to get a product out first, and said results should start to show up by the middle of 2010, adding that "by the end of 2010 you'll see it really being picked up. It allows for huge cost reductions."

Collie said the initial $7 million in funding will allow SeaWell to ramp up sales and introduce multiple products. "It gives us plenty of runway," he said. "Our last 18 months has been pretty focused on R&D."

For more:
- see this press release
- check out SeaWell's white paper on SVC.