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Elemental CEO Sam Blackman speaks at TechFestNW. Elemental is one of Portland's most successful startups in recent years.
Elemental CEO Sam Blackman speaks at TechFestNW in Portland. Elemental is one of Portland’s most successful startups in recent years.

Portland-based Elemental Technologies today announced a $14.5 million Series D financing round led by Telstra, the largest telecommunications and information services company in Australia. Sky, one of Europe’s top broadcasting companies, also contributed $4 million to the round.

The Portland startup, which helps big media entities seamlessly process video content across a full slate of mobile devices, has now raised more than $42 million in eight years.

In a blog post, CEO Sam Blackman explained why his company is taking a strategic investment from key customers. He noted that 2015 “will mark an inflection point for the video industry as content creators and aggregators deliver ever-more innovative multiscreen services” and more customers own video-capable devices.

Telstra_Sky“Telstra and Sky recognize that partnering with innovators is a key to long-term success, and we recognize that we have an enormous amount to learn from these dominant business franchises,” Blackman wrote. “With an industry inflection point upon us, this alignment among market leaders will speed the transition to software-defined video architectures.”

Elemental already helps American companies like HBO and ESPN with their mobile video processing, but this new partnership should help it expand worldwide more rapidly.

“For Elemental, the investment aligns us strategically with two of the most innovative and powerful operators in their respective regions,” Blackman wrote.

Elemental is one of Portland’s fastest-growing young tech companies and is the latest startup from the Rose City to bring in a notable round of financing, which also included participation from existing investors like General Catalyst Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Voyager Capital.

elemental2Just this year, Puppet Labs raised a $40 million round; Urban Airship raised $12.1 million; and Act-On raised its own $42 million round.

Blackman has long been an advocate for helping build Portland into one of the leading worldwide startup hubs, and these investments certainly signal some growth. When we met with the one-time GeekWire Startup CEO of the Year in May 2013, Blackman explained why Portland was the best place for young software engineers.

“Not only are there a ton of great companies to work for doing excellent technology work in rapidly growing markets, but the house will cost you half than what it does in Seattle, the schools are great, the food is incredible, the cultural resources are phenomenal and the public transit is incredible,” he said. “You have all these livability benefits on top of the great companies that are starting to grow — that’s the kind of place I think you want to live your life.”

Blackman touched on the topic again this past August at Portland’s TechFestNW conference. He also noted what Portland needs to do to really become a global tech center.

“We absolutely have to take responsibility as the next generation of potentially great tech companies here to build solid financial foundations so the public sector can continue to innovate and so we can continue the cycle of making Portland the best city in the world to live in,” Blackman said.

Learn more about Elemental’s technology and business here.

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