Boxee Closes $6 Million Series B Financing Round, Led by General Catalyst

--Says General Catalyst Will Help it Strengthen Relationships with Big Media and Cable Companies
--Aims to Bring its Platform to More Connected Devices, Attract More Developers, Add More Content

In a posting on over-the-top-TV specialist Boxee's blog, Wednesday, the company's founder and CEO, Avner Ronen, announced that it has closed a $6 million Series B funding round that was led by Boston-based General Catalyst, with participation by existing investors, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures (note: the company raised $4 million in a Series A round that closed last November). As part of the financing package, General Catalyst managing director, Neil Sequeira, will join Boxee's board. "We closed our Series A late last year, but given the momentum and opportunities we've seen over the past few months, we thought it made sense to bring in a new partner and additional funds," Ronen wrote. "General Catalyst brings more than just money to the table. We wanted a partner to help us as we strengthen our relationships with big media and cable companies. As we learned (the hard way), it is a complicated world [note: for more on Boxee's contentious relationship with big media-backed Hulu, which is presumably what Ronen is referring to here, see the article published on itvt.com, May 29th]. Neil and General Catalyst as a firm have years of experience, deep understanding, and extensive network in these industries, and we are looking forward to working together with them."

According to Ronen, Boxee, which is believed to have around 600,000 users, plans to focus on four goals:

  • Improving its product. The company is currently working on the Beta version of its platform, which is scheduled for release in the fall, Ronen said. However, he added, it is also "looking beyond Beta and into the roadmap of 2010," with the goal of having "a healthy mix of development driven by user feedback (which is the essence of the upcoming Beta) and innovation that comes from within Boxee."
  • Adding more content, from both independent content providers and large media companies. "We will try to bring more TV shows, Web shows and movies from ad-based, subscription-based and a la carte-type services," Ronen wrote.
  • Attracting more developers. "While we have an app store on Boxee, we know it needs some love," Ronen wrote. "For developers, we know it needs to be easier to develop and monetize apps. For users, we're going to make it easier to find apps on Boxee. Last but not least, we're going to extend the API's so everyone can do more with Boxee."
  • Bringing the Boxee platform into more connected devices. "Boxee today is mostly serving a tech-savvy audience--those who feel comfortable connecting a computer to a TV," Ronen conceded. "To make Boxee more accessible for a mainstream consumer, it's important for us to get Boxee embedded into connected TV's and Blu-ray players, game consoles and set-top boxes. We're already talking to device makers to ensure Boxee works on a variety of platforms for 2010."

 

Region: 
North America