Russian Retailer Puts $30 Million Into Israeli Startup Vidmind

Trellas takes control of Tel Aviv challenger to pay-TV services.

Bloomberg

Vidmind, an Israeli startup whose online platform allows retailers and communications companies to provide full Internet content services for so–called over–the–top pay television, said on Wednesday that it raised $30 million from the Russian retailer Trellas, which has now become the majority shareholder.

All the money will be invested in the company, not for buying out existing shareholders.

Vidmind, which has 55 employees, 35 of whom are in Israel, enables virtual TV operators to use existing broadband infrastructure on the Internet and free over–the–air television channels to provide a primary TV service with features and capabilities exceeding those of existing pay–television services. Revenues are expected to reach several million dollars over the next year.

“Our goal is to lead the TV revolution by ‘going virtual’ — that is to say, leveraging the open Internet and free-to-air TV to provide a primary TV service,” said Maxim Nogotkov, founder and majority shareholder of Trellas. One of Russia’s largest independent retailers, Trellas has 3,200 stores in more than 900 cities and employs almost 30,000 people.

“We are confident that Vidmind will become a driving force in the industry – empowering more virtual operators to launch new innovative TV services and challenge existing pay–TV providers – in Russia and the rest of the world.”

Nogotkov previously invested $10 million in Vidmind.

“We see this strategic investment from Trellas as a great vote of confidence in our cloud-based, hybrid OTT/DTT approach,” said Danny Peled, chief executive of Tel–Aviv–based Vidmind.