We live in a world awash in media, from music to photos to home videos to TV to movies. We may download the media, or stream it, or create it ourselves. It’s a world of unparalleled choice, in our living room and on the go. But accessing and enjoying all of this media is not always easy. The amount of content keeps growing, stored in different formats and across devices. It’s difficult to remember where we’ve stored our media – and even if we do remember, often we have to take the time to move content from one device to another, especially when we share it with family and friends. We all want to access our content in a beautiful, elegant, intuitive way, at any time and on any screen.
Last year, KPCB invested in Plex, which developed a software-based home media server platform for consumers to manage their personal media. When we invested, the company was already profitable, seeking venture funding to accelerate growth and introduce Plex into even more households. Since then, Plex has continued to take off. Millions of users joined the service last year, as Plex more than doubled its revenue. Much of the growth, like many of its employees, are from around the world. And Plex keeps adding features and partnerships, from its new apps for Xbox and PlayStation to its integration with Vevo to its state-of-the-art recognition software to help users organize their music files. And it has done so while seamlessly syncing thousands of terabytes of consumer media to mobile devices.
Plex may transform the media landscape because it is developing a novel solution just as the problem is exploding. According to Cisco, there will be more than 11 billion mobile-connected devices within the next five years – more devices than people. YouTube users upload more than 300 hours of video every minute, three times the level two years ago. Digital video sales are projected to exceed physical video sales next year. Even mainstays of entertainment like ESPN and CBS are unbundling video. So it’s more important than ever that we develop technology enabling us to combine our files into our own personal media hub that we can explore and manage with the touch of a finger. With new funding, a first-rate team, and hundreds of thousands of new customers per month, Plex is taking the lead.