If digital streaming is a gold rush, then Elemental Technologies, which today announced a $13 million round of funding, is the company selling the tools, says GigaOm’s Stacey Higginbotham. The five-year old startup is selling GPU-transcoding servers to some big-name content providers, like ESPN, HBO Go and Comcast, making it “the arms dealer in the war between the pay TV providers, the content folks and streaming companies like Netflix,” Higginbotham says.
Elemental’s servers come packed with graphics processors sold by Nvidia, which Higginbotham says enables it to convert videos into any format quickly and without wasting power. By using GPU chips, which PC games use, Elemental is able to keep costs down. These chips are designed to perform thousands of small tasks at once, including converting a video file for TV viewing to a smaller one designed for a mobile phone.
Elemental has a fair amount of competition, however, from the likes of Envivo and RGBNetworks. Yet its impressive client roster helped it nab the aforementioned funding round, led by Norwest Venture Partners, along with existing investors General Catalyst, Voyager Capital and Steamboat Ventures.