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US giant Cisco invests in Israeli streaming software firm Qwilt

Founded in 2010, Qwilt develops solutions that help providers deliver high-quality streaming and video to consumers

Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Startups and Business editor and reporter.

The Qwilt leadership team. (Berzi Goldblatt)
The Qwilt leadership team. (Berzi Goldblatt)

Cisco Systems Inc., a US maker of networking software and hardware, has led a $70 million investment in Israeli streaming software firm Qwilt at a valuation of $800 million, the company announced on Wednesday

Qwilt said the Series E funds will help fuel the company’s ambitions to build one of the world’s largest high-performing Content Delivery Networks (CDN) with global service providers. CDNs are a geographically distributed group of servers that work together to provide fast content delivery.

Founded in 2010, Qwilt built what it calls an Open Edge Cloud solution, running on commodity compute and storage infrastructure, that supports applications such as Open Caching, 4K Live Streaming, AR, VR and IoT. These solutions help deliver high-quality streaming experiences for consumers on a massive scale, the company indicated, and answer the huge demand for streaming video.

Qwilt has been working with Cisco since last year to offer a new service based on Open Caching, with BT, the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider, as the flagship customer.

Open Caching “federates content delivery infrastructure deployed deep inside service provider networks, into a global CDN with open APIs for content publishers” and “is designed to help service providers easily deploy an edge CDN footprint, offering them more control over content flows,” the company said in 2020 when the partnership was first announced.

Qwilt said it also works with leading cable, telecommunications and mobile service providers to improve their streaming quality offerings.

“This investment signals an inflection point for Qwilt and Cisco to expand upon our shared vision to help service providers use edge computing to deliver digital content experiences from their own networks,” said Alon Maor, co-founder and CEO of Qwilt. “We are ready to accelerate our efforts by hiring new talent, elevating our marketing efforts and putting R&D into action for mass-scale growth.”

“Streaming is a primary focus for most service providers today to drive revenue, and Cisco is making this investment to demonstrate our commitment to helping customers monetize their edge cloud infrastructure with a solution that improves quality of service and reliability,” said Jonathan Davidson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group.

“We are seeing great momentum with customers around the world who believe in the powerful combination of Qwilt and Cisco to take them to the next level with an innovative content delivery platform for streaming and on-demand services, new applications and more,” he added.

Qwilt employs over 150 people across offices in Israel, the US, Europe and Australia. Its investors include Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Innovation Endeavors, co-founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Earlier their year, Cisco announced the acquisition of Israel’s Sedona Systems, a maker of communication technologies. The deal was Cisco’s 16th acquisition in Israel, according to Oren Sagi, the managing director of Cisco Israel. In 2020, it bought Tel Aviv-based startup Portshift, a maker of application security solutions.

The US firm has R&D centers in Caesarea, Netanya and Tel Aviv.

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