The Israeli start-up develops video TV production technology for sports events.
Chinese Internet giant Baidu is making its first direct investment in an Israeli startup. The Chinese company, sometimes called the Chinese Google, is investing $3 million in Pixellot, which is developing a system for filming and producing sporting and musical events, including wide angle photography and remote control capability. Pixellot has raised $5.3 million to date from the TheTime incubator.
Founded in 2013 by chairman Miky Tamir and CTO Gal Oz, Pixellot develops innovative and inexpensive photography and production technology for foreign TV and Internet broadcasts. The company focuses on filming and producing sporting and musical events with high resolution, including the ability to photograph with the widest angle to capture the entire sports field and remote control of photography, without photographers and large broadcasting teams.
Among other things, the company uses image processing and pixel processing technologies that facilitate viewing on a variety of screens, such as smartphones, computers, and tablets. The company offers wide angle action replays and on-field graphics. Pixellot’s systems were recently tested by the French Tennis Federation.
“We’re excited about bringing the groundbreaking pixel technology to Internet users in China. For the first time, content producers will be able to broadcast sports events and concerts, while allowing the viewers to select the viewing angle they prefer, ” said Baidu senior director corporate development Peter Fang.
“We’re proud to be Baidu’s first investment in an Israeli startup, and are full of expectations for joint activity with this huge company, ” Dr. Tamir said. “This partnership will enable us to grow globally, and to enter the Chinese market. We will use the invested capital to expand our R&D activity and develop our marketing setup and international business development.”
The current investment is Baidu’s first in an Israeli start-up, but not its first in the Israeli start-up sector. Baidu was among the investors in Carmel Ventures’ fourth fund, which recently finished raising $194 million.
Baidu has been prospering recently, with its share price climbing to a record-breaking $250. The company held its IPO in 2005 at a company value of $120 million, and is now traded at an $81.5 billion market cap.
Pixellot is not Tamir and Oz’s first company. They also founded SportVu, which developed a system for automatic monitoring of players for statistical purposes. SportVu was sold in 2008 to Stats, jointly owned by communications corporations News Corporation and AP. Dr. Tamir was also a co-founder of Orad High Tec Systems, which specializes in broadcasting graphics and virtual studios.