Really Big In Japan: UStream Potentially Grabbing $75 Million

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Streaming upstart UStream has just rallied a $75 million Series B, according to information shared by the company on Monday.

The massive round comes from Softbank of Japan, a major internet and telecoms company with a serious mobile presence.

That sounds huge, though Softbank clarified early this morning that the round features a $20 million upfront injection, with an option to invest $55 million in the future.  The round will be used to spearhead an expansion into Asia, particularly Japan, China, Korea and India.  That initiative will also be fueled by even more capital, particularly from the US and Asia, according to company executives.

That is a huge bet for streaming video, another fertile area for the music industry.  Just recently, Ustream hosted more than 3.4 million live viewers for the red carpet pre-show at the American Music Awards.  That was beaten – only slightly – by the Obama inauguration, which attracted 3.8 million.

Those are huge numbers on well-produced events, though anyone can grab a camera and start broadcasting on UStream.  And, hardly a one-way channel, UStream also enables Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and AIM integrations.

Story by Alexandra Osorio