A week ago VC Cafe covered the alpha release of Israel and San Francisco based boxee. Today Boxee has announced a $4 million A round from Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures to continue development of its social media center software.
Boxee takes TV viewing online to the next level, by giving your computer a TV-like interface to enjoy your personal videos, music, and photos as well as content from Internet sites like Hulu, CNN.com, ABC.com, Last.fm, Flickr, etc. You can also share information about what you’re watching with friends so they can find it legally and enjoy it too. You can even post things you like to external social networks like Twitter, Tumblr or FriendFeed. All this from within a visually driven interface that makes media come to life.
This is the first round of funding for boxee (the previous was friends and family) and was split down the middle between Spark and Union Square. The funding gives boxee the backing it needs to negotiate with larger content providers like CBS, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and the BBC along with hardware manufacturers who would license boxee’s software for set top boxes.
boxee’s social media center platform has gained considerable attention over the past few months for its ability to be put onto AppleTV and access mainstream content from sites like hulu.com, CBS.com, and ComedyCentral from within boxee’s platform.
Having tested the product myself, this investment is no surprise. Boxee’s media center is elegant, functional and innovative. I’m just wondering how much better it can get with $4 more million. Congratulations to Avner and the team for securing an investment from top tear funds in worse possible conditions.
Avner Ronen, Boxee’s CEO posted the new goals of Boxee on the company’s blog:
our goals for 2009:
- grow out of our comfortable closed-alpha cocoon and launch a kick-ass beta
- build even more functionality and content into boxee while making it easier to navigate
- * listen to user requests, ideas and frustrations (and improve the product accordingly)
- work with team-xbmc, developers and partners to extend boxee beyond the confines of our limited resources
- * finish the year with ~ 1,000,000 users