Video-collaboration firm Kaltura gets more funding, positive press

Kaltura, a start-up that allows videographers to collaborate on mashups, is making a name for itself.

Kaltura's video-editing tools enable wiki users to participate in illustrating entries. Below is a entry on Venice's St. Mark's Square. Venicewiki.org

Kaltura, the video company that's considered a blend of YouTube and Wikipedia, has closed a second round of funding.

The New York-based company, which has become something of a media darling , declined to disclose the amount but did say the round, led by .406 Ventures, was "significantly larger" than the $2.1 million the start-up secured from Avalon Ventures and angel investors.

Kaltura appears on its way to becoming a high-flying service. Flip through the upcoming issue of Esquire and you'll see Ron Yekutiel, the company's co-founder and CEO, modeling a suit as part of a glossy photo gallery on New York's tech-scene studs.

Ron Yekutiel, Kaltura's CEO, fresh from his Esquire shoot. Kaltura

The breakout moment for the 20-employee company came last September, when it won the people's choice award at the TechCrunch40. Three months later, Kaltura walked away with another people's choice award in video sharing at the Mashable Open Web Awards.

It's easy to understand why the company is attracting attention. Kaltura is attempting to raise the capabilities of online video.

With the company's software tools, videographers can collaborate from anywhere in the world. The best example of how the company's wares can be used is in its deal with Wikipedia.

With Kaltura, Wikipedia contributors by the end of the year will be able to use their own clips or other media available from the Creative Commons to make mashups. Any other media wiki sites can download Kaltura's video-wiki extension for free and offer the video collaboration tools to their users.

What separates Kaltura from others offering video editing or management tools is that the software is open source. The features will grow as the community of developers grows, Yekutiel said last week at the OnHollywood conference . Thousands of developers have already accessed the company's code.

"In every major technology sector among the leaders you will find an open-source company," said Yekutiel, a former officer in the Israel Defense Forces.

But Kaltura is up against some big competitors. Brightcove and ThePlatform have been in the business of offering video tools for a while now. Brightcove has a client list packed with big media companies, such as The Wall Street Journal CBS, 20th Century Fox, and Time magazine.

Besides Wikipedia, Kaltura has a deal with Major League Baseball's Internet site, MLB.com.

"We can offer all the tools cheaper than they can," Yekutiel said. "And we're just getting started."

 

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