Earlier this year, we announced the launch of the Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio in partnership with R/GA. This is a new program focused on identifying and developing innovative growth- and early-stage companies with disruptive technologies that will shape the future of digital entertainment and media consumption.
The program, consisting of eight innovative startups, is coming to a conclusion, so we caught up with the participants to learn more about their experience in the program. For this participant spotlight, we sat down with Streamroot’s Pierre-Louis Théron, Co-Founder and CEO, to hear the company's background story and experience in the program.
What is the problem your company is trying to solve and how did you identify this problem?
Streamroot is working to overcome one of the most colossal challenges facing the internet today: the explosion of video traffic. Video represents 75% of all content served over the internet, with tens of billions of devices connecting to online video at any given moment. While the biggest broadcasters pay millions each month to deliver their content over the internet, traditional CDN infrastructures are still plagued by congestion that hurts quality of service and provokes the buffering that is all too familiar to anyone who has watched a video online. Streamroot’s goal is to make high-quality video delivery available to all and to improve the architecture of the internet by decentralizing web traffic.
Tell us how you first came up with the concept and/or business plan for the company.
My co-founders and I came up with the concept when we considered launching our own streaming platform back in 2013 as students in engineering school. We quickly saw how expensive it was to deliver video online and how difficult it was offer consistently high quality. That’s when we realized that there had to be a better, more efficient way to stream. We began exploring secure peer-to-peer and distributed network technologies as a research project in school, and built the first ever peer-to-peer streaming system that was entirely transparent for viewers and ran over WebRTC. Our prototype got significant interest from the industry, so we decided to found Streamroot and transform the academic undertaking into a commercial venture.
What drew you to this the Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio program?
Verizon is driving the industry forward and working to bridge the worlds of media, networks and streaming in exciting ways. We were thrilled at the possibility of being able to work more closely with Verizon. Verizon Digital Media Services offers us many opportunities to become a service provider and a strategic partner, as the convergence of media and network has become key to the success of online video.
What have been the highlights of the program thus far?
We’ve enjoyed working with the RGA creative teams on our visual identity and animated product diagrams. Our software is an infrastructure solution - it’s invisible - and RGA has really helped bring the value we offer broadcasters to life through some really captivating motion design.
We have also made some great progress with the Verizon Digital Media Services team, who has really embraced our vision and worked with us to strengthen our ties.
How have your interactions with the other program participants been? What have you learned from them?
It’s been great to share our experiences and learn from other founders. We’ve also been able to give and receive valuable introductions from one another, as we nearly all working in the media and entertainment industry.