Start-up of the day: StreamRoot reduces the bandwidth of sVoDs to put an end to “buffering”
Founded in February 2014 by three French people – Pierre-Louis Théron, Nikolay Rodionov and Axel Delmas – StreamRoot is a start-up based in Boston and Paris. Its objective: to put an end to “buffering”, that is to say, loading times when playing streaming video. To do this, it offers a solution that reduces the required bandwidth. More details with Pierre-Louis Théron.
Frenchweb: How did you get the idea for your company?
Pierre-Louis Théron: The original idea for StreamRoot came to us in 2012 following the shutdown of the streaming platforms MegaVideo and MegaUpload. Students at Ecole Centrale Paris, we wanted to create a – legal – alternative to the site and therefore set out to build a new platform. Not having the means to assume the significant bandwidth costs of a video streaming platform, we had the idea of building a broadcasting solution peer to peer which would reduce these costs and improve the quality of streaming.
Our last year of studies was devoted to the creation of a prototype of player video in peer to peer which led to the creation of StreamRoot right out of school.
What need are you responding to?
Everyone knows the frustration of posting the ” buffering “. All the more so when it happens in action during the soccer game streaming! This familiar problem will only get worse as Internet video traffic explodes. Today, video represents over 60% of global traffic and will reach 90% in a few years.
Until now, the only option for content providers has been to spend even more bandwidth. Streamroot offers to reduce the consumption of bandwidth from the servers by connecting people watching the same stream video. So users download the video by peer to peer directly from each other. This has the direct consequence of drastically reducing the bandwidth costs of video broadcasters on the Internet, while improving the quality of playback for users.
Very simply, what is your business model? What are your targets?
We offer the service as a subscription based on the traffic managed by the Streamroot solution. The more traffic passes through our network of peers, the more our customers save on bandwidth, the more we improve the quality of service. The return on investment is immediate.
Our target market is Internet video broadcasting: video-on-demand, Replay TV and live streaming platforms. Streamroot is already able to handle 70% of our customers’ traffic by peer to peer.
Who are your direct or indirect competitors?
Today there are solutions peer to peer competing with emerging start-ups, including Viblast. However, Streamroot differentiates itself by handling both video on demand (VOD) and live streaming; Streamroot is also the only existing solution compatible with all the technologies already used by broadcasters. Our strategy of partnering with industry leaders is also a real competitive advantage.
In terms of indirect competitors, we can cite the ” content delivery networks (CDN) ”, historical players in Internet broadcasting. Our solution has the effect of reducing the demand from their servers, but is not intended to replace the CDN. We see these players as potential partners with whom we could address the issues of infrastructure costs, and quality of service, key issues for the online video market today and tomorrow.
What was one of the first issues in your development, and how did you deal with it?
Our first problem was to understand the ecosystem in which our solution would be located. The industry of online delivery technology providers – both very rich and very complex – was completely unknown to us. We have devoted a great deal of time and energy to understanding the value chain and meeting the various players, to then position ourselves and thus establish our commercial strategy.
What is the best advice you have been given and by whom?
Our first mentor and coach, while we were still students, told us over and over again that the most important thing in entrepreneurship is action. To undertake is to constantly act and make decisions without knowing if it is the right solution. It is a state of mind which is not necessarily natural when one is trained by the grandes écoles and preparatory classes, but one only learns and progresses through action. I try to keep this mindset everyday, make quick decisions, take action and learn from mistakes.
Who is the personality you admire the most?
Richard Branson. He is a prodigious entrepreneur who has succeeded in creating breakthrough innovations in totally different business sectors. I admire the state of mind he exudes, and his joie de vivre which gives the impression that he is having fun in everything he does.
Founders: Pierre-Louis Théron, Nikolay Rodionov and Axel Delmas
Creation date: February 2014
Number of employees: 10
Company based in: Boston, Massachusetts, United States and Paris, France