2 Comments

Summary:

Updated. Now we know why Ustream has been raising new funding, and possibly why former CEO John Ham recently stepped down. The startup collected less than half of the $75 million funding round from Japanese mobile and Internet behemoth Softbank that it announced in early 2010.

Brad Hunstable shows off Ustream's Honeycomb app

Brad Hunstable shows off Ustream's Honeycomb app

Updated. So now we know why Ustream has been busy raising new funding from Korea Telecom and existing investors DCM and Softbank, and possibly why former CEO John Ham recently stepped down: The company collected less than half of the $75 million funding round it announced in early 2010, according to an SEC filing released Friday. [Hat tip to Business Insider.]

A quick recap: Last February, Ustream raised a strategic funding round led by Japanese mobile phone and Internet operator Softbank that altogether was worth up to $75 million. Softbank put in $20 million in an initial investment, taking a 13.7 percent stake in Ustream that valued the company at around $150 million. Softbank had 18 months to invest up to $55 million more, which would have given it a majority stake in the live streaming company.

But those funds never came.

The SEC filing indicates Ustream brought in about $33 million of the $75 million that it hoped to raise from Softbank, and Softbank never took a controlling stake in the firm. Instead, the startup announced a $10 million investment from Korea Telecom and an agreement to launch Ustream Korea as part of its Ustream Asia joint venture. Later, DCM and Softbank put another $6 million into Ustream and former CEO Ham stepped down.

Assuming the Korea Telecom and following DCM/Softbank investments are separate from Ustream’s $33 million Series B round, the company has raised a total of about $62 million. That’s not too shabby, but it’s far from the “more than $100 million” that continues to be quoted as Ustream’s total funding raised to date. It also answers the question of why Ustream needed to raise more cash just a year after the Softbank funding was announced: It didn’t burn through $75 million; it just never received the bulk of those funds.

The SEC filing also indicates a softening of Softbank’s strategic interest in Ustream. After all, rather than invest another $55 million of its own cash to take control of the live streaming startup, Softbank pursued a strategy of bringing in an additional shareholder to fund expansion instead. So what does Softbank know that we don’t?

Ustream did not respond to a request for comment by the time of this writing. We’ll update if we hear back from the company.

Update: Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable confirmed that its total funding to date is about $62 million, and gave some more background on the funding plans. He said that the primary reason for bringing on Korea Telecom was to have a strategic local partner on board, in the same way that Softbank is providing local support in Japan.

“We have the capital we need,” Hunstable said. As for its relationship with Softbank and the joint venture around Ustream Japan: “We continue to have big plans for Ustream Japan… It’s taking off and continues to grow month-over-month.”

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  2. RT @NewTeeVee: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through http://t.co/U481R7Qt

  3. It looks like most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding never actually came: http://t.co/xrHvsFyb [My latest on @GigaOM]

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  18. Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through: Brad Hunstable shows off Ustream’s Honeycomb app
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  20. Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through: Brad Hunstable shows off Ustream’s Honeycomb app
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  22. Searle Morris Friday, December 9, 2011

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  24. Peter Alexandrov Friday, December 9, 2011

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  25. Mitanshu Saini Friday, December 9, 2011

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  26. Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through: Brad Hunstable shows off Ustream’s Honeycomb app
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  27. gigaom: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through http://t.co/POvneZzC

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  34. All Trends IT Friday, December 9, 2011

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  46. RT @gigaom: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through http://t.co/lHq1326w
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  47. RT @gigaom: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through http://t.co/bi4JCDB9

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  62. RT @gigaom: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through http://t.co/bi4JCDB9

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  66. Srusti Ranjan Friday, December 9, 2011

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  67. RT @gigaOM: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding never came http://t.co/Jbi5lRjt

  68. GigaOM | Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding never came: http://t.co/jRC60Z4R (WOW, didn’t see that coming there…)

  69. Will Kirkpatrick Friday, December 9, 2011

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  70. Data Center Blogs Friday, December 9, 2011

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  74. Luca Filigheddu Friday, December 9, 2011

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  75. Funders realize the wash when I see it. Ustream has been sinking money since 2007. Profitability has not been ustream’s focus. Ustream has cheated it’s funders and lied to it’s users. This is not a company I would do business with in the video bandwidth market.

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  84. Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding never came: Brad Hunstable shows off Ustream’s Honeycomb… http://t.co/7Vzm4zPj via @gigaom

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  86. Interesting: GigaOM: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding never came http://t.co/p2YRrrO7

  87. 김상혁 (SangHyuk KIM) Saturday, December 10, 2011

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  88. JoeyJeffProductions Saturday, December 10, 2011

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  89. Tyrone Grandison Saturday, December 10, 2011

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  90. Jeremy M. Kissel Saturday, December 10, 2011

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  91. RT @flipboardbiz: RT @gigaom: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through http://t.co/UqfVyrEd

  92. RT @flipboardbiz: RT @gigaom: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through http://t.co/UqfVyrEd

  93. 황원철 weoncheol hwang Sunday, December 11, 2011

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  95. Yasuyuki Eguchi Sunday, December 11, 2011

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  96. Abdul Jaleel KK Sunday, December 11, 2011

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  97. RT @gigaom: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through http://t.co/NLrgT66i

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  99. Tyrone Grandison Sunday, December 11, 2011

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  101. Carl Kirchhoff Sunday, December 11, 2011

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  102. RT @NewTeeVee: Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding fell through http://t.co/U481R7Qt

  103. North Shore Daily Monday, December 12, 2011

    Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding never came as Softbank hedges… – http://t.co/NGQj92LB

  104. ustに出資金払ってない、らしいSoftBank。#softbank / “Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding never came — Online Video News” http://t.co/A6QyRNwa

  105. ハどミま(川原達樹) Monday, December 12, 2011

    これですか、日本人の感覚だからソフトバンクがひどいよ~に感じるだけで、韓国じゃふつ~みたいなので、文化の違いかもですねぇ ¦ Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding never came http://t.co/lwjUElqz

  106. Most of Ustream’s big $75m Softbank funding never came — Online Video News http://t.co/eejNBYQG

  107. 投資するぞーと大声でリリースしてちまちまやる作戦はもはや定番なのか… http://t.co/oXNjPyA0

  108. investors in ustream would be smart to ditch both the founders— liars and swindlers from the word go. you cannot believe a word that comes out of their PR room, as most of it is written by the founders.

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