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Ustream Raises an $11.1M Warchest

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Kyte isn’t the only personal/live video startup with a big bank account anymore. is announcing today it has raised $11.1 million in Series A funding from Doll Capital Management and Band of Angels.

Ustream faces quite a bit of competition and hasn’t quite gotten its leadership figured out, but its stats do seem to be going in the right direction. According to the company, in the year since launching it has seen:

260,000-plus registered users
More than 2.2 million unique viewers
75,000–120,000 viewer hours per day
Over 2 million viewer hours per month
10,000-plus hours of live streaming content per day
350,000-plus hours of live streamed programming per month
8,000-10,000 broadcasts per day
400 – 600 concurrent streams (at any given time)

We spoke with Ustream founder John Ham today, who added that the site has a delay of less than one second for live broadcast (though sometimes that can get worse) and has seen a maximum of 20,000 viewers on a single stream. That record was for Steve Jobs’ Macworld keyword, which coincidentally was also competitor Qik‘s simultaneous record, we learned earlier this week. (Those geeks, they like their Apples.)

Ham said that part of the value of DCM as a funder was its presence in Asia; Ustream hopes to reach out to Asian markets in the near future. He also mentioned that by viewer hours, sports is the single largest category on Ustream.

Ham said banner ads are Ustream’s “nascent monetization strategy” but projected the site reaching profitability in the next 12 months. He would not comment on rumors that Microsoft had been looking at acquiring Ustream except to say “we’re committed to building a business.” Ham did admit that raising funding effectively rules out a near-term acquisition.

One blip in Ustream’s sunny outlook: the company seems to be having more leadership trouble. It had previously named Chuck Wallace, a founder of Esurance, as CEO, replacing Chris Yeh, an angel investor who had stepped into the chief executive role early on. When I asked why Wallace wasn’t doing the funding call, and if he was no longer Ustream’s CEO, Ham stumbled. “I don’t want to say yes, I don’t want to say no,” was his response.

13 Responses to “Ustream Raises an $11.1M Warchest”

  1. I’ve always been quite curious… does anyone know how are these personal video startups (JTV and Ustream) are even getting their initial traffic during their baby stages? Where is the arbitrary member coming from. I’ve never seen any advertisements. I’m certain it can’t just be word of mouth given such high numbers.

  2. Liz,

    You have to be careful with alexa and compete rankings – they work for destinations, but not for enabling platforms. Kyte is an enabling platform and more than 97% of Kyte’s traffic comes from destinations, such as

    comScore works better for overall metrics. Here’s a comScore example that measures unique’s on the web in the U.S. until February:

    This doesn’t include international traffic and also no mobile traffic, but it gives you a good indication. In March, Kyte traffic double again, and it looks like April will double again.

    Here’s an overview about the Kyte platform:


  3. InLoveWithLiz

    With all due respect OutReach Media you clearly do NOT follow it closely:

    Furthermore if you consider a ‘H.264 Motorcross’ event (your kidding right?) to be an indicator of success you need to be posting elsewhere.

    Their technology is good (not great, yet). They do have some notable users and content. But to be fair, this market is still very young and there is a LOT of room for growth & improvement. I agree with Liz, there is no clear leader. However moving to Asia can be a clever move. Lets see.

  4. Outreach Media

    I think Ustream has pretty clearly demonstrated they are the leader in this space. With all due respect Liz, you obviously aren’t following it very closely.

    The other live sites have talking heads, teenagers eating cheetos, illegal arabic soccer games, and NBA basketball games illegally.

    Ustream is by far the only one with consistent interesting shows and events. The motorcross they did last week in H.264 was incredible.

    Congrats Ustream.

  5. Congrats to Ustream. It’s a great company and we are proud to provide them both video encoding and syndicating features.

    Brad, John, sounds so promising for the future of Ustream. Well done and keep the good work.