Sky has made a $4m equity investment in Elemental Technologies, a US-based software company specialising in multiscreen video delivery. Elemental is a leader in video processing, providing software that enables broadcasters and pay TV operators to stream live and on-demand content to laptops, tablets, smart phones and TVs. This helps companies like Sky to create an even better and more reliable experience for customers watching content flexibly, on internet-connected devices.
As Europe's biggest investor in television content, Sky has embraced the use of new technology to enhance the experience enjoyed by its customers. In addition to being the UK’s number one connected TV platform, Sky also operates three of the UK’s leading dedicated over-the-top (OTT) services – Sky Go, NOW TV and Sky Store. Millions of customers regularly consume content through Sky’s range of OTT services, including those available through the recently acquired Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.
This investment builds on Sky’s existing commercial relationship with Elemental for Sky Go and enables Sky to tap into the company’s experience and expertise in building flexible software solutions to enable next-generation IP video delivery. In addition to an ongoing commercial relationship, Sky will have strategic access to the Elemental leadership team, which will help inform Sky’s long-term understanding and insight into future OTT developments.
For Elemental, the relationship with Sky will give the company valuable access to an entertainment company that is at the forefront of multi-platform, multi-device video – delivering OTT content at scale to millions of customers. This will bring commercial benefits through the practical application of Elemental’s technology and as well as strategic benefits, with Sky providing a content owner’s perspective on the future development of multi-platform viewing.
The financing is part of a $14.5 million Series D round of funding led by Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications and information services company, along with participation from Elemental’s existing investors. Emma Lloyd, Sky’s Director of Corporate Business Development and Startup investments, comments: “Internet-delivered video is fundamental to Sky’s business and will continue to grow in importance as more and more customers access content across multiple screens and devices. By investing in Elemental, we not only strengthen our existing commercial partnership, but we have the opportunity to share perspectives and insight into how the combination of new technologies and changing customer demands will shape the video landscape of the future.” Sam Blackman, CEO and Co-founder of Elemental Technologies, comments: “As the video industry transitions to a keen focus on the viewer, Sky is defining what high-quality video on any device can be. We’re pleased that our implementation of software-defined video is resonating across the industry and has the economic and strategic support of an industry leader like Sky.”
The partnership with Elemental builds on Sky’s ongoing programme of investing in innovative startups. It follows recent investments in the cross-platform network Whistle Sports; online video aggregator Pluto.TV, and US ad tech firm Sharethrough.
For more information, including details on Sky’s San Francisco team, please visit: www.sky.com/startups