Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who will create the world's first Virtual TV Network?

NBC, BBC, ABC... and maybe soon RayV TV as well. Israeli RayV raised a second round of $8M to develop live 24 hour broadcasts of quality programming for the PC and TV in what they call a "Virtual TV Network". Facebook's investor Accel Partners, one of Israel's most active VC funds, financed the round. Accel has more than $4B under management worldwide, $1B of which in two European funds that also invest in Israel.

So what's a virtual TV Network (VTN)?

According to the stealth-mode start-up, RayV developed proprietary internet protocols forming a generic grid network, basically enabling anyone to broadcast live TV to an unlimited amount of concurrent viewers at zero cost.

In other words, the first Virtual TV Network is a secure, scalable and manageable distribution vehicle of live real-time media without the need for centralized network resources. Similar to free web TV service Joost, RayV is also requires a download. You can get the beta here.

What are the benefits for the consumer?
According to RayV's website:
"Sure, we love the big networks - after all, they show us all the live Paris Hilton we can handle - and lots of other stuff too. We just want it at high quality on our TVs and on our PCs, anywhere in the world... and more...

We also want to watch live news channels from smaller, independent sources with correspondents around the world. We want channels of live performances from the newest bands at the University of Calcutta. And live coverage of rugby matches from England. And short-film channels from NYU Film School students. And coverage of local politics. And cooking channels for Vegans. And cooking channels for Carnivors."
RayV is not the only one attempting to join MetaCafe and BlogTV on the list of successful Israeli Video startups. Several Israeli companies are working on IPTV solutions:
RayV was founded in January 2006 by Omer Luzzatti (CEO), Ron Zuckerman, and Oleg Levy. It has 15 employees and offices in both Tel Aviv and New York.

Source: Globes

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At 9:53 AM, Blogger israelexperience2007 said...

I was just thinking about all the other video companies similar to RayV (Joost, Veoh, Hulu...) and articles I've read on potential YouTube killers and am wondering, even if RayV's end technology will be superior to any other site's technology, RayV probably won't be different enough to attract a significant following. After all, there's something about being first, second, third... to the market. What are your thoughts on this?

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Venture Capital Cafe said...

Hi Lisa, thanks for the comment. As opposed to youtube and veoh that supply video platforms for short clips, companies like RayV are trying to come up with a "virtual networks" of 24 hour programming for the PC.

So you have a new concept and VC Money (I just read that this morning that Xillian TV got $800K in funding
which make this a field open for competition. Not a YouTube Killer, but an alternative.
I think that being first is not necessarily an advantage. The other stealth-start ups are watching your every move and learning from your mistakes and successes.


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