Kaltura, the Israeli-U.S. startup that helps organizations manage their video content, has raised $50 million from the U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs and says it is on its way to an initial public offering.
Sources said the Goldman Sachs investment round values Kaltura in the hundreds of millions of dollars, though short of the $1 billion that would have won it the coveted status of “unicorn.” The round brings its total fundraising to about $160 million.
Formed in 2006 and headquartered in New York City, the company is mature by startup standards, counting 1,000 paying corporate and educational customers whose video content is seen by an average of 700 million people a month. Kaltura employs 450 people, 250 of them in its Israeli research and development center.
Ron Yekutiel, Kaltura’s CEO and chairman, told TheMarker the Goldman Sachs investment signaled the company’s strategy of avoiding an exit and remaining independent.
“Goldman Sachs is the biggest underwriter in the world and they are painting up in the colors we need for an offering. They examined us from the viewpoint of ‘Can you be an attractive publicly traded company’ and decided they would invest in us,” he said.
“Goldman Sachs’ due diligence process is different from a venture capital fund's in terms of the depth of the process – they want us to be ready to meet the standards of of a publicly traded company,” he said.
Yekutiel said Kultura had received buyout offers that it had rejected. “There are discussions about what’s better – big companies or ones that get sold. So far, our decision has been to grow and develop. We have a lot of faith in the markets and our products and our ability to create something fun and amazing.”
Video is a hot internet segment right now, seen in Facebook’s promotion of it on its social network as a key growth driver. Yekutiel said he wasn’t concerned because Kaltura is aimed at the business-to-business segment, not end users.
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