Bloomberg reports, with confirmation from investors Softback Corp, that live video streaming service Ustream has raised $20 million in capital.
The investment was led by Softbank Corp, Japan’s third-largest mobile-phone operator and is aimed at growing their service in south east Asia and India.
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Ustream confirmed the investment in an email and says it plans to open offices in each of the countries.
“The market for live streaming is very large if you consider all the cell phones” in Asia, Chief Executive Officer John Ham said in an interview.
Ustream was founded in 2007 by Ham, Brad Hunstable and Gyula Feher to help overseas soldiers keep in touch with their families. Ham and Hunstable met while serving as U.S. Army officers. The company’s backers include Dixon Doll’s DCM, which led an $11.1 million funding round in 2008, and Western Technology Investment.
Softbank has issued a press release stating, “it completed its initial investment of approximately USD 20 million (approximately JPY 1.8 billion, investment ratio of 13.7%) in Ustream.”
The press release also revealed, “Assuming all available options granted to the Company to acquire additional shares are exercised by July 2011, the Company’s total investment is expected to be approximately USD 75 million (investment ratio expected over 30%) and will result in the Company becoming Ustream’s top shareholder.”
Congratulations Ustream! Looking forward to see what is developed with this significant investment.