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General Electric and Geoge Soros invest in video-on-demand startup Bandwiz

Company secures $15 million at a $70 million company valuation

By Oded Hermoni

Data-transmission accelerator


has secured first-round financing from top-notch investors, including the GE Capital Fund and a venture capital fund run by billionaire George Soros.

The company secured $15 million based on a post-money company valuation of $70 million. Its funding round was led by Israeli venture capital fund Giza, which is backed by the GE Capital Fund. Bandwiz intends to use the proceeds to complete product development and to begin marketing.

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Bandwiz, founded in early 2000 by graduates of the Israel Air Force, is developing a client-server application that accelerates data and content transfer over the Internet, regardless of the number of users.

The company's technology is relies on diversified distribution of content that does not depend on a central server. Its idea is similar in some ways that of Akamai, which has become a global leader in the area of accelerating data transfer over the Net.

Diversified distribution of Internet content is considered a hot market niche. Bandwiz VP marketing Gil Mildworth claims that the company's solution is stable and is not influenced by the number of users downloading content at one time, a factor that has hampered the distribution of rich media content.

Bandwiz's technology is based on the use of unusual protocols, which did not gain popularity. One example, Multi Cast is based on a single transmitter and multiple receptors. The company has found that such protocols, which in many areas are at a disadvantage, are superior for acceleration of content transfer, Mildworth says.

Among other things, the Bandwiz system enables video on-demand. Mildworth says that Internet service providers around the world are testing the startup's product.

Bandwiz maintains headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, and a development center in Tel Aviv. The company employs 40 people, most of whom are based in Israel.