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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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UT System invests $200,000 in start-up that transfers large video files online

November, 2012

Latakoo, a start-up company that offers an easy-to-use
online video transfer product, has been selected to receive a $200,000
investment from the University of Texas (UT) System Horizon Fund. The
investment is significant news for latakoo and for The University of
Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), which is part owner in the company and is
conducting research to further develop the company's product.

"Upstream Internet connections are not that robust, so there's a lot of
waiting when you want to upload high definition video because the files
are so big," said Paul Adrian, latakoo CEO. "The service we offer makes
uploading large video files to a secure account in the cloud easy and
really fast."

Latakoo was founded by Paul Adrian and Jade Kurian, former broadcast
journalists who experienced the challenge of sending large video files
from the field to the station. Customers pay a modest monthly fee to
download software from onto their hard drives then they
can drag, drop and click to quickly transfer virtually any video to
latakoo's secure web-based cloud service. From there, the files can be
shared, streamed or downloaded.

"The service is useful for video professionals," said Kurian, "but it's
also useful for anyone with a cell phone that shoots video. Without
latakoo, it's difficult to share video from a phone in a cellular
environment but our service makes it easy."

Early in 2010, latakoo struck up a relationship with Sos Agaian, UTSA's
Peter T. Flawn Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Agaian
is an expert in image optimization and compression. Shortly thereafter,
latakoo joined UTSA's New Venture Incubator. The facility, managed by
UTSA Chief Commercialization Officer Cory Hallam, nurtures start-up
companies that are commercializing UTSA intellectual property or
sponsoring UTSA research expected to lead to new intellectual property.
The incubator fits into the broader technology commercialization
environment of San Antonio as an early-phase source of new ventures.

"The university's solution will provide huge relief for any person or
company that needs to move massive files - starting with video - to the
cloud in a safe and secure manner," said Adrian. "And what's great is
that UTSA is working like a start-up business. When a feature is ready
out of Dr. Agaian's laboratory, we can wrap it in. Little by little,
we're maturing the product."

Latakoo's product is catching on with broadcast companies that, until
now, have been dependent on satellite trucks and expensive software and
hardware to send their video from the field to the newsroom. The
start-up has already signed deals with the Belo Corporation, the Nexstar
Broadcasting Group and NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC News.

Political campaigns, industry organizations, video production companies,
freelance photographers and private individuals also use the product,
said Kurian.

Hallam notes that the universality of video sharing and the inclusion of
a video camera on most every smart phone offer great potential for
latakoo's growth.

"We have witnessed an evolution of video," he said. "The format has
changed immensely. First it was tape. Then it was a disc. Now it's a
digital card sitting in the camera. Every new generation of data has a
new way of storing that video, and the files are getting larger and
larger. Super HD is coming down the road, and those files are four to 16
times larger than what we have today."

Moving forward, latakoo is focused on raising funds and developing its
product. The start-up has raised $550,000 in its current funding round,
bringing the total to $1.8 million including the investment from the UT
System Horizon Fund. The UT System's funding will help latakoo sustain
its sales and marketing while growing the company. In addition, it will
support continued research by Agaian and UTSA doctoral student Richard
Metzler, who are working on ways to support the transfer of hour-long
video clips.

"We are pleased to support commercialization of technologies out of the
exciting research at UTSA," said Bryan Allinson, executive director of
Technology Commercialization for the UT System. "The Horizon Fund serves
as a strategic fund for the U. T. System, and this investment into
latakoo has the potential to not only provide positive return on
investment from our research but to further improve commercialization of
UT technologies, serving to support our strategic mission."

"I cannot tell you how much it helps to have UTSA behind us," said
Adrian. "We have strong ties to Austin and San Antonio. We cannot think
of a partner we'd rather have in the community than the University of
Texas System."


About latakoo

Latakoo is an Austin company providing an end-to-end video management
platform, specializing in the simplification of video delivery and
archiving over the Internet without costly investment in hardware and

About the UT System Horizon Fund

The Horizon Fund serves as a strategic fund for the U. T. System, one of
the nation's largest systems of public higher education, and, with its
nine academic and six health institutions, a national leader in
education, research, health care and service. Our health professionals
are responsible for providing care to millions of patients each year,
and our academic faculty are engaged in cutting-edge research, making
significant discoveries to improve the lives of people around the globe.
The goals of the UT Horizon Fund are to improve commercialization of UT
technologies, and improve sustainability through a positive return on

About UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the largest of nine
academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a
multicultural institution of access and excellence, UTSA aims to be a
national research university providing access to educational excellence
and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment. UTSA serves
nearly 31,000 students in more than 135 degree programs in the colleges
of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering,
Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy and Sciences as well as University
College, the Honors College and the Graduate School. Founded in 1969,
UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic
development catalyst for Texas and beyond. Learn more at


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