Live streaming video stalwart Ustream announced $75 million in Series B funding for a push into Asia where, the company believes, rapid growth of hi-speed Internet and mobile 3G penetration is setting the stage for Ustream to make a major leap.
While the company says the funding -- being lead by SOFTBANK of Japan -- also will be used to grow its presence in the U.S., the markets in Japan, China, Korea and India look hot, said Ustream founder and CEO John Ham.
"Asia offers a significant, untapped market opportunity for streaming video," said Ham. "SOFTBANK will enable us to develop this opportunity and deliver on our vision of live streaming video everywhere. We look forward to deploying these resources to accelerate our growth in the United States and Asia Pacific."
SOFTBANK, for its part, is looking to accelerate Ustream's global presence.
"Since DCM's lead investment in the Series A, we've worked closely with Ustream's founders to execute upon its vision to build the company into a truly global media company," said Gen Isayama, DCM general partner and member of the Ustream board of directors. "SOFTBANK's involvement and financial support will be instrumental in enabling the company to connect live venues and viewers anywhere in the world through any internet-connected device."
Ustream is a simple to use, free app that allows users to broadcast live to an unlimited audience, and also allows users to chat or use Ustream's Twitter mashup. It even will tell you how many viewers you have and let you conduct polls. Ustream has been around since 2007 and has some 2 million registered users.
It streamed President Obama's State of the Union Address last week, and has been used by CBS Evening News for live streaming as well, in addition to many other news events, like the Democratic National Convention last August.
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