Australian telecom aborts attempt to gain foothold in Silicon Valley

Australian telecom Telstra announced Thursday night that it has completed the sale of Ooyala to the video technology company’s upper management, thus culminating the infrastructure conglomerate’s pricey attempt to own a piece of Silicon Valley.

Telstra purchased Ooyala in two stages in 2012 and 2014 under the direction of former chief David Thodey, spending more than $500 million in the process. By 2016, Telstra conceded that the value of Ooyala had dipped to $246 million. And by last February, the telecom—which had attempted to participate in the monetization video companies like Netflix were enjoying on its network—submitted to that the value was zero.

Related: Telstra Writes Off Ooyala Investment

Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.

“With this transaction, we’re ushering in an exciting new chapter for our company, positioning ourselves to invest even more aggressively in our client solutions,” said Jonathan Huberman, CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based Ooyala, in a statement. “We’re now much better equipped to more nimbly drive Ooyala’s growth—innovating our own technologies as well as acquiring others that deliver the best customer satisfaction. Our flagship product, the Ooyala Flex Media Platform, is on track to solidify a position as the best-in-class video streaming and media logistics solution.”

Ooyala hired Huberman in April 2017, about five months after former CEO Ramesh Srinivasan left the company. Huberman also came on board a couple months after Ooyala had reportedly laid off 14% of its workforce amid a restructuring that, it hoped, would lead to new jobs and product areas.

Ooyala’s Flex Media Platform underpins the company’s suite of video streaming and media logistics solutions. Ooyala powers the content supply chain for media, entertainment, telecommunications, enterprise, broadcast, and sports clients including Audi, Chelsea FC, Dell, National Rugby League of Australia, PGA, Starhub, Sky Sports, Turner … and Telstra, which will remain a customer.

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