Boxee snags $6 million funding, aims at STBs

Aug 12, 2009

Despite today’s gloomy financial climate, Boxee has just closed a $6 million Series B round of funding. The investment will go toward improving the product, increasing the number of content sources, attracting independent application developers, and embedding boxee in consumer devices, says the company.

Boxee’s software platform streams Web-based and local content to PCs and set-top-boxes (STBs) running OS X, Linux, or Windows and provides an excellent 10-foot user interface. Boxee’s ‘boxee’ software was introduced a little over a year ago and is currently offered as a free, alpha-level download from the company’s website.

Boxee listed the following general goals for its new funding:

  • “Improving the product – We are working on the Beta release (due later this fall), but also looking beyond Beta and into the roadmap of 2010. The idea is to have 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 – We believe Boxee can be a great partner for independent content producers as well as big 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.”
  • “Attracting more developers – While we have an App Store on Boxee, we know it needs some love. 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 APIs so everyone can do more with Boxee.”
  • “Bringing Boxee into devices – Boxee today is mostly serving a tech-savvy audience – those who feel comfortable connecting a computer to a TV. To make Boxee more accessible for a mainstream consumer it’s important for us to get Boxee embedded into connected TVs 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.”

Another focus of the new financial backing will be to overcome the resistance of cable and media companies to having devices stream movies and television shows to consumer TVs independent of the cable providers, a problem the company has struggled with in recent months.

Boston-based General Catalyst led the Series B round, with prior investors Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures also participating.

“General Catalyst brings more than just money to the table,” says Boxee. “We wanted a partner to help us as we strengthen our relationships with big media and cable companies. [General Catalyst has] years of experience, deep understanding, and extensive network in these industries, and we are looking forward to working together with them. ”

Learn more about Boxee’s media-streaming software platform from our comprehensive Boxee Box Cookbook article.

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