Sydney-headquartered IBM partner Oovvuu is set to ramp up the global rollout of its proprietary video-on-demand news platform thanks to a new $3.8 million funding round.
The tech start-up's platform, dubbed Compass, uses IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to read and understand articles from around 100,000 global publishers in real time, while also watching and analysing tens of thousands of videos from its broadcasters to match them with relevant articles.
Oovvuu’s platform is designed to “watch” videos and “read” articles before matching them with media outlets, hooking up videos from the likes of the BBC, ITV Studios, Al Jazeera and dozens of other broadcast partners with articles from publishers such as News Corp and The Guardian, where viewers can watch them.
To date, the company’s technology matches video from around 75 global broadcasters with articles from publishers in 143 countries in near-real time.
As of 2016, the local start-up had made serious inroads into the Indian market, the largest single market, in terms of sheer population, after China.
“All our development team is here in Australia. But what we’re interested in is hitting emerging markets,” Oovvuu founder and CEO Ricky Sutton told ARN in late 2017. “So, we went to India first as our first huge growth market; not the US, not Europe.”
Now, the company's global presence is set to expand even further.
Thanks to the new funding round, which was led by Cygnet Capital and CapitalPitch, the company's international presence could be set to surge, with the fresh investment expected to be pumped into Oovvuu’s global customer rollout.
Oovvuu’s offering has clearly struck a chord among investors, with CapitalPitch co-founder and managing director Emlyn Scott saying that the start-up is “one of the most exciting companies we’ve ever seen, with the potential to disrupt the advertising duopoly of Facebook and Google on a global scale”.
Oovvuu has also found backing from other quarters, being selected by IBM in 2016 to join its Global Entrepreneur Program.
The following year, it joined Airbnb and Slack in the Amazon Activate program, and was named disruptor of the year by research group IDC.
In March, Oovvuu also became a foundation tenant of NSW Government-backed media and creative start-up hub “The Studio”, at the Sydney Startup Hub innovation centre, which was officially opened in February.