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ContentAgenda Setters 2007

Suranga Chandratillake has been waiting and preparing for the Internet to catch up with his ideas for four years. Now that it finally has, his company, blinkx, is positioned to capitalize on a new and rapidly growing need for effective video search capability.

While working for Autonomy, a Cambridge, England-based developer of customized software solutions for large government and corporate enterprises, Chandratillake became familiar with the unique problems associated with indexing digitally stored video based on its actual content and context, rather than relying simply on text-based descriptions of the content or metadata.

“Three or four years ago, I became fascinated with the idea that video search would eventually become a consumer problem”

So he left Autonomy and formed blinkx, after securing exclusive licenses for consumer applications to many of the patented technology Autonomy had created while developing its video search capability.

Then he waited. In early 2007, as the amount of video on the Internet began to grow, blinkx raised $50 million in an IPO in London and began its build-out.

Now, Chandratillake’s prescience is starting to pay off. In October, comScore recorded 52.5 million unique viewers to blinkx.com, while Compete.com ranked blinkx the fastest growing video site on the Web in September.

“What you’re seeing now is the Internet is getting fast enough so that it is able to deliver TV and video content in acceptable quality. That has led to a massive, worldwide audiences for video and lots and lots of publishers putting that content online,” Chandratillake said. “The problem with that picture is that content reality that confronts that audience is enormous. If you’re a user, how to cope with all the content that’s out there? If you’re a publisher, how to find an audience that is so fragmented? Search is an ideal technology to provide that link.”

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