Aylus Networks is not a name familiar to consumers, but that’s fine — Aylus is looking to sell media-sharing and live-streaming services direct to mobile operators.
The Westford, Mass.-based startup has $25 million in funding from Matrix Partners and North Bridge Partners and is in trials with major operators in both the U.S. and Europe, but it has so far managed to stay off the business press radar as well. If these trials turn into deals, that could quickly change.
Aylus’ design improves on peer-to-peer type mobile video solutions that risk overwhelming mobile bandwidth constraints. What it does differently is run everything through a client-server-client architecture that conforms with upcoming GSM multimedia standards. So as mobile video production and sharing grow in popularity, Aylus will be able to keep up with demand.
The company’s two current applications are photo- and video-sharing and live video streaming for Symbian and Windows Mobile. Under development is a mobile-to-landline video service. Aylus is packaging its platform for applications like news reporting, repairmen, and first responders, where a worker in the field could use mobile video to better explain a local situation and seek expertise from afar. Aylus sells either infrastructure or a hosted service.
Competition could come from the mobile operators themselves — AT&T has already experimented with video sharing, but that uses a P2P-like architecture. There are also existing live mobile video startups that go straight to consumers such as Qik and Flixwagon, which Aylus says it can beat by making video-streaming real-time. Aylus’ careful attention to what carriers want and need could make it a winner.