One to Watch: ooyala


Trumpeting its founders’ Google heritage, Mountain View-based stealth-mode startup ooyala says it is “focused on delivering a high-quality, interactive, video-viewing experience.” As the alarm:clock puts it, ooyala “is not saying who or how much nor what the hell they are doing other than video.”

Update: One of the founders tells us via email ooyala has raised “a large round of funding” and it plans to release a beta version of its online/offline video application in early July.

From its job ads it appears the company is looking to get into internet video distribution and syndication (like just about everybody these days!). It’s in need of someone to “Develop online content distribution/syndication relationships with top 5 Broadcast & Cable networks,” as well as Flex and Flash engineers, and, of course, people to sell ads.

Ooyala founder Bismarck Lepe wrote on the company blog May 7,

“It’s been five weeks since a group of us left Google to start ooyala. In that time, we hired Alex, moved into office space, secured funding and in a week, we will be launching our closed alpha. Things are moving very quickly and we’re excited to see our dream become a reality.

For all the non-specific optimism of that post, Robert X. Cringely predicted convincingly last week that it will be companies formed by teams of former Google employees who will unseat it:

With hundreds — and soon thousands — of Google employees vested and solvent, we’ll shortly see a dribble, then a river, then a flood of former Google employees with time, money, and experience, and some of them will have the drive to realize the dreams of those thousands of ideas that were rejected by their former company.

We’ve put in a press request and signed up for the beta list; let us know if you have more information.

Update: Lepe responds via email:

Two months ago, I and two of my colleagues left Google to develop a new interaction and monetization platform for online and offline video. In May, the company closed a large round of funding from the typical folks in the valley and the not-so-typical guys in Hollywood. Also in May, ooyala launched its closed alpha test with a limited set of advertisers, publishers and Internet users. We’re currently growing the team and getting ready to launch a beta of the application in early July.


Ty Graham

That last paragraph is killer, and the exact reason why soon, everyone is going to get blip’d!

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