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Type of businessSubsidiary of Telstra[1]
FoundedSilicon Valley, California
No. of locationsSanta Clara, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, London, Sydney, Guadalajara, Stockholm, Singapore, Chennai and, Tokyo
Founder(s)Bismarck Lepe
Belsasar Lepe
Sean Knapp
Key peopleJonathan Huberman
IndustryInternet video

Ooyala (pronounced /ˈjɑːlə/ "oo-YAH-la") is a privately owned company focusing on video content workflow management systems. It began in 2007 as a venture-backed, privately held company founded by brothers Bismarck Lepe and Belsasar Lepe, and their colleague and friend from Google, Sean Knapp. It was aquirted by Australian Telecom giant Telstra in 2012, which sold it to Ooyala management in October 2018 writing off all its investment. In Feb 2019 Ooyala sold its OVP business to competitor Brightcove.[2]

The word ooyala means 'cradle' or 'swing' in Kannada or Telugu (ఊయల).[2]

Early history[edit]

In January 2007, Bismarck Lepe was working for Google. While developing new monetization techniques for YouTube, he came up with the idea of using computer vision techniques to deliver targeted advertising on TV shows recorded on TiVo.[3] He contacted his brother Belasar and a friend, Sean Knapp, to discuss his idea.

In its first round of funding, Ooyala raised money from a number of angel investors and businesspeople, including Scott Flanders, CEO of Playboy Enterprises; Tim Koogle, Former CEO of Yahoo!; and Oliver Grace, Kip Hagopian, Fred Warren, and Ron Conway. Eight months later, Ooyala raised an additional $8.5 million from Sierra Ventures.[4]

By August 2009, Ooyala was providing video technology and services for over 500 companies[5] under the direction of new CEO Jay Fulcher, formerly of Agile, PeopleSoft, and SAP.[6]

Two more rounds of fund-raising followed in 2010 and 2011. Ooyala had raised $42 million from Sage Venture Partners, Sierra Ventures, Rembrandt Ventures, CID Group (a Shanghai-based private equity fund), Hitochu and Panasonic.[7]

Telstra subsidiary[edit]

In June, 2012, Telstra led a $35 million (USD) round of financing in Ooyala, and took a 5 percent stake in the company. It announced plans to use Ooyala’s software and services to deliver its television content online and, further, to resell it to other media companies and corporations.[8] It invested a further $26m over intervening years before announcing on 1 October 2014 that it had acquired Ooyala with 98per cent ownership in a deal valued at $270m.[9]

Under Telstra, Ooyala acquired European adtech provider, Videoplaza in 2014 and logistics and workflow software vendor, Nativ in 2015.[10]

In 2016 Telstra wrote down the value of the company by $246m reflecting poor performance of the advertising technology part of the business. In February 2018 Telstra wrote down the rest of the value of the company, taking a $273m impairment, and pulled it from the advertising technology area to focus on its ongoing video platform and media logistics system. [11]


Ooyala initially focused on applying computer vision techniques to create clickable video. As the company grew, it expanded its scope to develop technologies that improve the quality and speed at which online video is delivered, and allow Web publishers to measure, monetize and optimize their video content. Its online video platform enables Web sites to publish, manage, monetize, and analyze online video content[clarification needed]. It is built to be modular and provides real-time analysis capability to its customers. Its workflow management system is called Flex media logistics.

In 2010, the company deployed one of the first large-scale Cassandra clusters for its analytics and video transcoding services.[12]


The service is used by the Times of India,[13] Disney,[14] News Corp, and the Telegraph Media Group.[15]

In February 2011, Ooyala announced a multi-year partnership with Yahoo! Japan.[16]

Ooyala works with a number of partners, including Adobe, Microsoft,[17] NTT,[18] YuMe,[19] Tremor Media,[20] Akamai, Level3, PayWizard[21] and Google.[22]


  1. ^ Reuters. "Telstra buys video platform company Ooyala for $270m". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  2. ^ Burrows, Peter. (2007-12-31) What Ooyala is Up To. BusinessWeek. Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  3. ^ Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2009: Ooyala - BusinessWeek. Images.businessweek.com. Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  4. ^ Ooyala Raises $8.5M More — Tech News and Analysis. Gigaom.com (2008-01-24). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  5. ^ Ha, Anthony (10 August 2009). "Video startup Ooyala appoints Agile Software's Jay Fulcher as CEO". Venture Beat. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  6. ^ Ooyala Brings In Jay Fulcher As New CEO. TechCrunch (2009-08-10). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  7. ^ Video Publishing Platform Ooyala Raises $22 Million, Prepares For Major Asian Expansion. TechCrunch (2010-09-09). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  8. ^ Ooyala Raises $35 Million as It Picks Up the Pace in Digital Video - Bloomberg. Go.bloomberg.com (2012-06-18). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  9. ^ Australian Stock Exchange Announcements
  10. ^ https://www.cmo.com.au/article/632923/telstra-writes-off-ooyala-subsidiary-announces-exit-adtech-business/
  11. ^ https://www.itnews.com.au/news/telstra-writes-ooyala-value-down-to-zero-484278
  12. ^ Cassandra (database): How is Cassandra typically used at web startups today?. Quora. Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  13. ^ Ooyala's online video 'cradle'. FierceOnlineVideo (2009-02-03). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  14. ^ Ooyala Testing Pay Per View With ABC. TechCrunch (2010-04-27). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  15. ^ Ooyala scores partnership with Telegraph Media Group, will power its video content | TechCrunch. Eu.techcrunch.com (2010-01-20). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  16. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110227092734/http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-22/yahoo-japan-ooyala-in-video-partnership.html. Archived from the original on February 27, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ Microsoft Showcase: Watch videos from Microsoft's online video collection. Microsoft.com. Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  18. ^ Ooyala Enters Japan with NTT Partnership — Tech News and Analysis. Gigaom.com (2010-01-12). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  19. ^ YuMe, Ooyala partner in ad-placement play. FierceOnlineVideo (2009-11-16). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  20. ^ [1] Archived March 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Winners announced for 2012 ConnectedWorld.TV Awards | Connected World Awards. Connectedworldawards.tv. Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  22. ^ Ooyala Joins the WebM Project and Adopts VP8 Support. Digitaltvnews.net (2010-05-19). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.

External links[edit]