Skyrider Sees Profits in P2P

The small company launched this week with $8 million in VC and hopes of setting itself up as the Google of the P2P world

August 4, 2006

2 Min Read
Skyrider Sees Profits in P2P

Mountain View, Calif.-based Skyrider says there's a load of money to be made in building services around peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and technology.

That stance alone wouldn't matter so much if it weren't for the people behind Skyrider. The company's CEO, Ed Kozel, is a networking and software veteran who was once the CTO and VP of business development at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Co-founders Dr. Ori Cohen and Stas Khirman previously created the deep packet inspection company Narus Inc. ; the two also worked at one of the first IP video delivery companies, VDOnet.

Skyrider was started in 2003 and it employs 35 people. It has raised a mere $8 million in funding to date, but the money comes from reputable backers -- Sequoia Capital and Charles River Ventures .

With management and money in place, Skyrider is definitely building services in the P2P space, but it won't say what. It will, however, freely opine on the greatness of P2P as a technology platform.

“YouTube is a wildly popular site, but it’s also a wildly inefficient way of distributing content,” Kozel says. Kozel says all those videos are flowing from one central server, when they might be served up faster and cheaper using P2P.

So Skyrider is looking to make money on the backs of these P2P networks, which are accounting for a greater and greater percentage of Internet traffic each year. (See BitTorrent to Open Video Store.)

The company is being vague about its first product, which it says will launch this fall, but its managers hint that the product will likely be a P2P search platform that could search for files across all the big P2P networks (like Kazaa and eDonkey), all at once. The platform would, of course, display targeted advertising along with the search results -- a familiar-sounding approach.

It's an intriguing company, for sure. But how long will a company last when it tries to out-Google Google?

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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