Business

Vidyo lands $25M for video conferencing, aims for mobile

Vidyo, a company dedicated to video conferencing technology, announced today that it has landed a massive $25 million in third-round funding. With the extra funds, Vidyo plans to step up its sales and marketing efforts for its high-definition PC and room-based video conferencing tech — and it has big plans for mobile devices as well.

Vidyo differs from other solutions by offering low latency video conferencing with multiple participants at an affordable price. Its low-latency capabilities mean that video chats occur without slowdown or delays.

The company’s patented VidyoRouter technology lies at the heart of its video conferencing efforts. It uses the H.264 SVC video codec, which allows the company to offer high-quality video quality that’s also scalable depending on the individual participant’s upstream and downstream bandwidth. And because it’s so scalable, Vidyo says that its technology will work on any IP network, including the Internet, and on 3G and 4G mobile networks.

The company’s technology was also featured in Intel CEO Paul Ottelini’s CES 2010 keynote (Vidyo’s segment starts around 48:30), as a way to show off Intel’s upcoming mobile chipset platform, Moorestown. In that demonstration, Vidyo’s technology is used on a prototype 4G cellphone to conduct a video conference with three participants. Vidyo tells us that it has long waited for cellphones to get faster and feature front-facing cameras for mobile conferencing. Now that we’re seeing phones that fit that mold (HTC’s Evo 4G, for one), and faster cellular networks being rolled out, Vidyo has the potential to finally make video conferencing on our cellphones a reality.

You’ve probably already used Vidyo’s technology and don’t even know it. Vidyo powers Gmail’s video chat feature, although it’s apparently something the company doesn’t comment on publicly. Gmail’s video chat is restricted to two users, but given what Vidyo’s technology can do, it’s conceivable that it will eventually support chats between multiple users.

Unlike its competitors Tandberg and Polycom, VidyoRouter doesn’t require a multipoint control unit (MCU) — a device video conferencing participants must connect to. Instead, all users need is a webcam and decent broadband access.

Based in Hackensack, N.J., Vidyo’s latest round of funding was led by Four Rivers Group, and all existing investors, including Menlo Ventures, Rho Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds and Star Ventures, participated. The company has raised a total of $63 million since it was founded in 2005. Vidyo was also selected as a DEMO08 Demogod, a conference co-produced by VentureBeat.


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