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Microsoft acquires Israeli startup Peer5 to improve video streaming software

Tech giant says acquisition will aid businesses using its communication platform, Microsoft Teams; global real estate giant JLL snaps up Israeli analytics firm Skyline AI

Luke Tress is a video journalist and tech reporter for the Times of Israel

A signage of Microsoft is seen on March 13, 2020, in New York City. (Jeenah Moon/ Getty Images/AFP)
A signage of Microsoft is seen on March 13, 2020, in New York City. (Jeenah Moon/ Getty Images/AFP)

Microsoft has acquired Israeli video streaming firm Peer5 to improve live streaming for its business communication platform, Microsoft Teams.

The tech giant did not disclose details of the acquisition in its Tuesday post announcing the deal.

Peer5’s technology will help businesses using Microsoft’s software keep up with streaming needs as communications increasingly move online, especially since the onset of the pandemic.

“As live streaming becomes more common in the workplace, large organizations need reliable enterprise video streaming solutions,” Microsoft said. “We have acquired Peer5 to expand our ability for delivering secure, high-quality, large-scale live video streaming with optimized network performance in Teams.”

Peer5 was founded by Israelis Hadar Weiss, Guy Paskar and Shachar Zohar in 2012. It has only raised $4.3 million, according to Start-Up Nation Central.

It offers an enterprise content delivery network (eCDN) that runs in-browser to optimize bandwidth usage with mesh networking technology. Microsoft said the technology would help customers with large-scale meetings and virtual events.

Peer5 said it has powered live online events with up to 2 million concurrent users, and its products have been used by over 1 billion people in total.

“When many employees stream at the same time, the network gets congested. This can happen during an all-hands meeting, a large training session or when everybody opens a link to a video that was just sent over email,” Peer5’s Weiss said in a post announcing the acquisition. “Our technology solves this problem in the most efficient way possible, without changing the existing network infrastructure.”

“Recently, the demand for Teams Live Events has grown dramatically and with it the need for a more seamless solution,” he said.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in April that Teams had 145 million active daily users. Before the pandemic began, the software had 32 million users.

In other acquisition news, US-based commercial real estate giant JLL said Wednesday it reached an agreement to acquire Israel’s Skyline AI, an artificial intelligence firm that uses machine learning models to analyze real estate opportunities.

Skyline AI’s data sats and AI algorithms will help JLL process massive amounts of data quickly to provide insights for real estate experts, JLL said.

JLL is a Fortune 500 company that reported annual revenue of $16.6 billion last year from operations in over 80 countries. Skyline AI was founded in Israel in 2017 and has offices in New York and Tel Aviv.

On Monday, the US-based Rekor Systems said it had inked an agreement to acquire Israel’s Waycare Technologies for $61 million in cash and common stock.

Waycare, founded in 2016, uses predictive analytics to optimize vehicle traffic management systems. The company’s technology uses artificial intelligence to aggregate and process data to help government bodies with issues such as traffic accidents and congestion, and improve roadway safety and infrastructure.

Rekor uses technology to design intelligent infrastructure and provide real-time roadway intelligence. The company is based in Maryland and trades on the Nasdaq exchange at a market cap of $283 million.

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