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London-based deep learning startup iSize has secured $6.3 million in Series A funding, with investors including former Google CFO Patrick Pichette.
The company, which aims to make video streaming more environmentally friendly without reducing quality, said it would use the funds to accelerate growth in the US and to strengthen its team and patent portfolio.
“Today there are more people streaming more video than ever before. Our customers recognize both the commercial opportunity and their social responsibility to optimize their video delivery pipelines with our pioneering technology,” iSize founder Sergio Grce said.
iSize uses deep learning to maintain video streaming quality while reducing bitrate requirements, which the company says allows for a significant reduction in bandwidth and energy consumption.
The startup referenced a recent white paper by InterDigital which found that video streaming already accounts for more than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
iSize was founded in 2016 by former Royal Bank of Scotland associate director Sergio Grce and UCL professor Yiannis Andreopoulos. The company is a graduate of the Creative Destruction Lab Oxford 2019-2020 program where it received advice and investment from expert mentors.
Nvidia, AWS, and Microsoft Azure are among current licensees of its BitSave technology.
The product is a proprietary AI-based, deep perceptual optimizer which the company claims is “trained to ‘see with the human eye’ in order to optimize video quality and deliver significant bitrate savings.”
iSize’s technology can be applied to live streaming, VoD, and gaming. The company said its product does not require changes to be made to the streaming process or end-user's devices.
“The technology iSize has created is pioneering and is already being used by some of the world's largest companies to reduce the costs and energy used in streaming. Consumer demand for high-quality video is only going to increase as our devices are upgraded, so it's vital that we find new ways to reduce the environmental impact,” Simon King, partner at Octopus Ventures and one of the investors, said.
“We are very familiar with this space having been an investor in Magic Pony and Sergio is one of those visionary founders who we believe can build something truly special.”
Magic Pony was an AI startup that used machine learning to improve visual processing for online platforms. In 2016, just two years after being founded, it was purchased by Twitter for $150 million.