Skyfire Gets ‘Fuel’ From Verizon and 3 Existing Investors

Skyfire Labs, provider of mobile video optimization and cloud solutions for mobility, has announced it has raised $8 million in its Series C financing. Verizon Investments, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, participated in the round, alongside current investors Matrix Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Verizon’s investment was arranged by Verizon Ventures, which seeks promising entrepreneurial companies that complement Verizon networks and service platforms. Skyfire will use the funds to meet the demands of its growing list of wireless operator customers through increased engineering, sales and support resources, and also to expand into European and Asian markets.

“Wireless operators around the world are facing an explosion in mobile data on their networks, driven largely by mobile video,” said Andrew Verhalen, general partner at Matrix Partners. “Skyfire is well positioned with solutions for operators that can expand network capacity by over 25 percent, as well as generate incremental revenue.”

“Skyfire is poised to expand globally in 2012 after winning deployments with two tier-one operators in North America, and adding world-class international executive talent,” added Larry Orr, general partner at Trinity Ventures.

Concurrent with this latest financing, Skyfire has announced a new European footprint. John Rintoul has been named vice president of sales for Skyfire’s newly-opened EMEA office, based in London. Rintoul previously led sales with the Vodafone account for Cisco’s Mobile Internet Technology Group, and prior to that, was a sales executive at Starent Networks, Juniper Networks, and Kagoor Networks. Skyfire also announces Scott Boehmer has been named vice president of sales for Americas. Boehmer previously was vice president of sales for SEVEN networks, and a product executive at Sprint. Both regional leads will now report to Skyfire’s SVP Global Sales, Jason Guesman.

“Skyfire’s Rocket Optimizer product is delivering an average of 60 percent savings for operators on video bandwidth,” said Jeff Glueck, CEO of Skyfire. “We welcome the participation of Verizon, which is renowned for its network planning sophistication.”

Rocket Optimizer 2.0, the latest iteration of Skyfire’s powerful carrier-grade network video and data optimization platform, was launched in October 2011. With mobile video demand expected to rise steeply over the next three years, Rocket 2.0 aims to help carriers solve capacity issues linked to the rapid rise of mobile video streaming. The solution offers real-time optimization of mobile video to enable smoother streaming, and can be applied to specific cell towers or backhaul regions as soon as congestion is detected. Rocket Optimizer 2.0 also offers the broadest support for video formats, including the world’s first instant MP4 optimization (which comprises more than 50 percent of today’s mobile video, including most HTML5 and iOS video). By leveraging cloud computing power, Skyfire’s solution is highly cost effective to scale on both 3G and 4G LTE networks.