Boxee Gets $16 Million in Funding for its Media Center Platform
New frontiers lie ahead for open source media center platform, Boxee, which we've covered ever since it was born. Today, the company is announcing a very healthy infusion of $16.5 million in venture funding, featuring some heavy-hitting new investors, and ones that had already invested. Boxee's previous round of funding was only $6 million and came when the company had only 12 employees. Now the company has 34 employees, and "the Boxee Box," a hardware and software combination featuring the media center platform, is available in more than 30 countries. A look at the details on the funding shows that Boxee has some solid backing.
Pitango and Softbank are providing new venture funding for Boxee in the latest $16 million round, and there is participation by prior investors General Catalyst, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. Isaac Hillel from Pitango is also joining Boxee's board.
Among the investors above, Softbank is particularly notable. The Japanese juggernaut, owned by billionaire Masayoshi Son, has vast experience investing in Internet- and technology-focused companies and has a powerful venture financing arm. The folks at Boxee would be wise to tend to their relationship with Softbank.
"Boxee launched its first hardware product together with D-Link last November, and additional products running the Boxee platform from Iomega and Viewsonic are expected to launch in the coming months."
Boxee's announcement says the company will use its new funding in three areas:
- Product – We are getting lots of love as well as feature requests and bug reports. The new round will enable us to grow our development team, building new functionality while continuing to squash bugs.One of our greatest challenges will be to add more movies, TV shows, and video while at the same time making it easier to discover and watch them. We have ideas on both fronts and are excited to get to work.Many of you would like to see Boxee handle all the video on their TV with no need to switch inputs. We’d like to get there, too.
- More Content – We recently added Netflix and Vudu to the Boxee Box. These are amazing video services. There are many more sources of content on our ToDo list in the US and internationally. We realize that with every new content source we make Boxee more valuable. We will increase the pace.
- More Partners – D-Link is already shipping the Boxee Box, Iomega is working on a Boxee NAS device and ViewSonic is working on a TV based on Boxee. We plan to sign up more device and distribution partners, giving users more options and more ways to get Boxee.
In only a few short years, Boxee has transformed from a grassroots open source software platform to a well-known consumer electronics phenomenon. If you've never tried the platform, it's still free to download, and makes watching and sharing video, shows, music and more very flexible.