Internet software co Boxee raises $16.5m

As reported in IVC: Boxee’s media center software finds a user’s favorite shows and movies online and puts them on the TV, without a monthly fee.

Boxee Inc. has raised $16.5 million in its third financing round led by Pitango Venture Capital. Japan’s Softbank and current investors General Catalyst, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures also participated. The company has raised $26.5 million to date, including the current round.
The company will use the proceeds to expand operations and content in the US and internationally, and add more device and distribution partners

Boxee’s media center software is based on open code, which finds a user’s favorite shows and movies that are already available on the Internet and puts them on the TV, without a monthly fee.

Boxee CEO Avner Ronen founded the company in 2007. The software can be downloaded to a PC, BluRay player, or games console for free. It is also sold embedded in the branded Boxee Box for $199.

Taiwan’s D-Link Corporation (TSEC: 2332) manufactures and distributes the Boxee Box. Content collaborators include Netflix Inc., Pandora, Vudu, and the NHL. The company has more than 1.5 million users. It has a high profile on the global Internet scene, because its technology is considered disruptive, i.e. that it threatens the industry in which it operates.

Boxee threatens the traditional television industry, which currently relies on revenue from cable and satellite broadcasters’ subscribers, because Boxee’s technology gives consumers the option of watching new content more suited to the digital era, by offering free access to any content found online. Cable companies justifiably fear that more and more users will abandon them in favor of a direct TV-PC link.

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