Israeli VPN startup Hola has raised $17 million in Series C funding, and launched the first CDN built for the optimal delivery of video.
Hola, with more than 100, 000 new users every day, is the startup behind Hola Unblocker VPN proxy service, that allows you to represent yourself as a resident of any country, such as the U.S., to access country-restricted video content sites like Netflix or Amazon.
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Hola‘s CDN distribution network reduces the cost of delivering video by 90 percent while providing consumers with performance and reliability on par with YouTube and other video leaders.
Unlike traditional CDNs, Hola CDN runs on a global network of dedicated servers and leverages what Hola has learned from its 53 million VPN users on its P2P technology.
It streams video to viewers from the most cost-effective, high performing server, whether it is an existing CDN, origin server and Hola CDN server.
This allows video publishers to keep using Akamai, Amazon or Level3, but drastically cut their usage of expensive, low-utilization servers.
The service is free in exchange for user bandwidth, which can be sold for commercial purposes. User bandwidth can be sold for analyzing large amounts of data from a distributed network of idle computers for research purposes, or hacking into a site like 8chan, which reportedly happened from Hola users. And that’s the weakness of the system.
Hola also offer a business intelligence service called Luminati which helps businesses do competition analysis by allowing users to unlock data that would otherwise be blocked by their competitors.
The round, led by Iris Capital Iris Capital which is an Orange and Publicis Group strategic partnership, joined by Hola’s existing investors Li Ka-shing’s Horizon Ventures, DFJ, and others.
Hola was founded by CEO Ofer Vilenski and CTO Derry Shribman, who previously founded Jungo in 2000.
Jungo, residential and business gateway software platforms, was sold to NDS in 2006 for $107 million.
To date Hola has raised a total of $30 million.