Comcast, TWC, Cisco Invest In Next-Gen VOD Startup BNI

Publish date:
Updated on

BNI Video, a startup touting a Web-based video-on-demand system for delivering enhanced video services to any device, announced it has raised more than $16 million from investors including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cisco Systems.

The Boxborough, Mass.-based firm also counts venture capital firms Charles River Ventures and Castile Ventures among its backers. BNI was founded by CEO Conrad Clemson, who previously senior director of engineering at Motorola, which he joined in 2006 through the acquisition of video-on-demand startup Broadbus Technologies.

Conrad was senior vice president for technical operations at Broadbus from 2002 to 2006, and before that was vice president of engineering at Gotham Networks, and a vice president of engineering at Lucent Technologies.

BNI describes its "video control plane" software as providing the capability to deploy video and other next-generation content services to any endpoint more easily, quickly and reliably than competing solutions.

"BNI's technology is simple, flexible and scalable, and we look forward to working with BNI to develop more advanced video services for our customers," Time Warner Cable chief technology officer Mike LaJoie said in a statement.

Louis Toth, senior managing director at Comcast Interactive Capital, said BNI's technology "has the potential to change the game for video service providers. This platform gives providers additional capabilities and greater flexibility to enrich the consumer experience."

The startup, founded in February 2009, has more than 50 employees.

Other key BNI employees include Dena Bradshaw, vice president of sales and business development, who also was previously with Motorola as director of video services and was vice president of regional sales at Broadbus; Raman Sud, senior vice president of engineering, previously with Unidesk; and vice president of marketing Tom Kennedy, formerly with Harmonic and Broadbus.

BNI's software, based on a Web services architecture, provides transcoding, digital rights management and quality of service for video, according to the company. In addition, the system can be integrated with billing and authentication systems. The BNI software can "incorporate virtually any application -- search, recommendation, social interactivity -- into service offerings," the startup claims, and give cable providers a path to delivering all-IP networks.

"Our software allows [video service providers] to achieve significant efficiencies in delivering traditional on-demand services while also giving them the tools they need to deliver the enhanced services of the future," Clemson said in a statement.

BNI Video's first two products are a video control plane and content-delivery network manager, which are available now. The "BNI" in the company's name stands for Beaumaris Networks Inc., which is its formal corporate name.