Sezmi Secures $25 Million in New Funding, Launches Public Pilot in Los Angeles

--Company's Flagship Offering Combines Traditional TV, Movies and Internet Video

Sezmi, a company that has developed a set-top box-based offering which it bills as "combining traditional TV content, movies and Internet video in a single, easy-to-use product and service," said Monday that it has secured $25 million in new funding from new and existing investors. The company--which last year announced that it had raised $33 million in an earlier funding round--also announced Monday that it has made its "all-in-one personalized television service" available via a public pilot in Los Angeles, in preparation for a nationwide launch next year. The service will cost subscribers less than $25 per month (or only $5:00 per month if taken up without cable channels), after an initial outlay of around $300 for the hardware that it runs on. "This new funding places Sezmi in a strong financial position as we offer our service to the public and prepare for the next stage of expansion," Sezmi CEO, Buno Pati, said in a prepared statement. "We are very pleased to have the enthusiastic support of our investors and partners as we continue to execute on our plan."

According to Sezmi, the investors in the new funding round were existing backers, Morgenthaler Ventures, Omni Capital, TD Fund, Index Ventures and Legend Ventures, as well as a "new strategic investor" that the company did not name. "We are in the midst of one of the most exciting times in television history," Sezmi co-founder and president, Phil Wiser, said in a prepared statement. "With a deep understanding of the changing needs of television viewers, Sezmi created a completely new end-to-end offering to meet those evolving needs. We are thrilled to be in a position to deliver our service to the mass market." (Note: [itvt] will be publishing an in-depth interview with Sezmi's Wiser in our Friday Interviews and Features edition. For some background on the company, see the article published on itvt.com, January 1st, and this profile in the New York Times.)

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