Vanguard Acquisition Strengthens Beamr’s Market Position

On March 29, video optimization vendor Beamr Imaging Ltd. introduced it had raised $15 million in funding and would use a part of that to buy encoding vendor Vanguard Video. Dan Rayburn’s article supplies the small print of the association, and his ideas on its affect on the trade. We have been inquisitive about how the 2 corporations would merge their applied sciences and what the mixed product choices would seem like. Beamr chief expertise officer Dror Gill was sort sufficient to reply our questions by way of e-mail.

Streaming Media: When you take a look at Vanguard, there are (no less than) three potential values there: merchandise, expertise, and market presence. How did you consider every of those elements in making your resolution to amass Vanguard?

Gill: The preliminary method to Vanguard was performed based mostly on their expertise. We evaluated their expertise and located that the standard and efficiency of their encoders are increased than another software program encoder available on the market right now. And since each of those elements of the encoder—efficiency and high quality—are crucial to our video optimization course of, we determined that Vanguard Video’s expertise was the proper match for our personal. I’ve visited the Vanguard Video R&D heart in St. Petersburg [Russia], and located world-class video encoding specialists, with years of expertise on this discipline, together with participation and contribution to the video compression customary committees, and an IP portfolio of eight granted patents. As a video skilled myself, I might admire the extent of experience and innovation current in each improvement staff at Vanguard Video.

Then we appeared on the merchandise. We discovered that their SDKs have very sturdy and complete APIs, are optimized for all {hardware} architectures—x86, GPU, ARM, and even FPGA—and help all main working methods together with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, and iOS. This broad platform help signifies that the merchandise can have a really extensive market attain, with functions starting from large-scale cloud transcoding to dwell video streaming from cellular units. When we evaluated Vanguard’s merchandise simply as a daily buyer would, we have been very impressed by the extent of help they supplied, which is basically excellent. We’ve been utilizing the Vanguard Visual Comparison Tool as a necessary software for evaluating earlier than/after video high quality. The high quality, robustness and ease-of-use of this software impressed us very a lot. 

And lastly, we examined the enterprise aspect. If you take a look at Vanguard Video’s web site, you see some very large names from all throughout the video processing and distribution worth chain. All of them belief the applied sciences popping out of Vanguard Video to energy their services and products, and we discovered it as a really reassuring vote of confidence within the firm. Also, when you take into account the truth that the corporate is privately owned and self-funded, and managed to develop to 50 workers with no exterior investments, you may perceive that they convey true worth to the market and have a sustainable enterprise. Following the acquisition, every firm shall be profit from cross-selling options to the opposite firm’s clients, and on this approach develop the enterprise on each product strains.

Streaming Media: Beamr is primarily recognized for its optimization expertise. Vanguard additionally has an optimization expertise (The SMART Preprocessing SDK). How will these applied sciences exist shifting ahead?

Gill: These applied sciences are literally complementary: The Vanguard pre-processing SDK works earlier than encoding the video, and the Beamr optimization expertise works after encoding the video. So by doing each we consider we will get even bigger bitrate financial savings than every expertise is succesful by itself.

Streaming Media: Your press launch says, “Together we are going to lead the video encoding market by far with unprecedented high quality and efficiency.”  What’s the technique? Integrate with present encoders and cloud companies, or attempt to create new services and products that you just take to the market?

Gill: To perceive our technique shifting ahead, you must perceive the technical synergies between the 2 corporations. Beamr’s optimization course of is utilized to information which have already been encoded. Encoded information which have prime quality are higher optimized by Beamr, and due to this fact Beamr has all the time beneficial to its clients to make use of a high-quality encoder for creating the encoded enter information. Following the acquisition, Beamr will be capable to supply a mixed answer that features the trade’s highest high quality encoder and the trade’s finest optimization answer, leading to high-quality, low-bitrate optimized information.

By providing encoding and optimization from a single vendor, Beamr would additionally simplify the workflow integration and help, and allow simpler and sooner integration into the client’s video processing pipeline. The mixed answer will allow extra technical efficiencies by sharing data between the encoding and optimization processes, leading to the absolute best video high quality on the lowest bitrates.

Streaming Media: More particularly, do you plan to launch an encoder that mixes your optimization expertise and the Vanguard codec? You speak about working as a publish course of, however your IP might additionally work as a part of the speed management mechanism in a codec, which might be extra environment friendly from a top quality perspective and workflow. Do you see that kind of integration occurring?

Gill: Beyond what we’ve indicated above, we’re not disclosing our joint product roadmap at this stage since it’s too early, however integrating our high quality measure into the speed management mechanism of their encoder does make sense.

Streaming Media: Why now? Why is the now the correct timing to maneuver ahead with the acquisition?

Gill: We suppose the timing is true as a result of we’re at a really distinctive level within the historical past of on-line video. On one hand, there are the rise in cellular video consumption, the shift to 4K and VR content material, and the continued transition to IP video, that are driving demand for capability. On the opposite hand, new and present networks are getting an increasing number of congested. So what the trade wants proper now’s a powerful participant that can be capable to present inexpensive, dependable, efficient, and totally optimized encoding options, prepared to handle the challenges of right now and tomorrow.

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