Cool Startup: Streamroot

Everyone has experienced their fair share of laggy livestreams, replete with buffering screens, fluctuating video quality, sudden error messages—the works. Video files in general can be data-heavy and difficult to transmit to users quickly and smoothly. Livestreams can be even worse.

These days, however, video distribution is changing. A burgeoning French startup named Streamroot is looking to transform how developers, broadcasters, and streaming websites distribute their videos—in both standard and livestream formats—by introducing a peer-to-peer approach. Streamroot envisions that its video delivery technology can improve video quality at infinite scale and stabilize distribution during high traffic times, all using a fixed-price delivery model.

Streamroot’s peer-to-peer technology works by harnessing the latent power of users watching a given livestream or video and distributing that power to other users. The peer-based technology actually optimizes delivery as demand rises, increasing output as more users tune in to the same video or livestream simultaneously. P2P streaming helps decentralize a server’s data exchanges, relieve pressure on a distributor’s CDN, reduce buffering and latency, and can cut bandwidth by up to 70%.

P2P can also adapt to conditions common during high-traffic times and popular livestreams like sports matches, E-sports tournaments, and scheduled news broadcasts. Because many livestreams attract audiences from certain geographic locations, Streamroot’s P2P system runs topographical algorithms that optimize connections that are close in proximity. In a case study, Streamroot optimized a Swiss platform’s livestream of a soccer match in which 80% of viewers were from Spain. During the stream, the P2P system peered between 40 to 50% of viewers and reduced bandwidth cost and network congestion 40 to 50%.

The most convenient part of this new P2P system is that users don’t have to install anything to use it. Streamroot’s P2P system uses WebRTC to establish real-time connections between users, which is supported by all modern web browsers. In essence, users may not even know that their livestream or popular YouTube video is being optimized by Streamroot’s P2P—it would just look better and load faster.

Streamroot also recently expanded into the mobile market, releasing Streamroot DNA (Distributed Network Architecture), an over-the-top delivery technology for iOS, Android, Chromecast, and desktop. The P2P model integrates with a mobile application’s SDK to bring the same peer-based optimization to mobile platforms, which are increasingly dependent on massive viewing audiences and which are prone to spikes in user traffic.

At the beginning of this year, Streamroot overhauled their customer portal, improving its visual aesthetic and adding new features. Broadcasters can now track their streams by geographic usage and ISP data, and the new data sets are even more granular.

Streamroot also announced that they would be partnering with a number of popular broadcasters, chief among them Russia Today—which claims 35 million daily viewers—Dailymotion, Eurosport, and Canal+. Streamroot estimates that its P2P system optimizes about 400 million video streams each month.

The flat-rate payment model makes the optimization system even more attractive, given that other optimization services sometimes charge based on scaled demand or traffic. Streamroot has raised $6 million for its delivery tech so far, 3.2 million of which was just finalized. Larger partnerships and more capital are likely coming soon for this P2P frontrunner, which has managed to streamline a notoriously difficult but increasingly necessary technology in broadcasting, livestreaming, and mobile video delivery.

Company Background

  • Founded: 2013
  • HQ: Paris and New York
  • Raised: $6M
  • Employee Count: ~30
  • Executives: Pierre-Louis Theron (CEO), Nikolay Rodionov (COO) and Axel Delmas (CTO)
  • Product: Peer-to-Peer Video Optimization Technology