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Boxee gets $16.5m, wants software on tablets

updated 10:05 am EST, Tue March 1, 2011

Boxee gets 16.5m from Softbank, more

Boxee's media ambitions got a significant help on Tuesday with a $16.5 million cash infusion from a round of partners that included Japanese carrier Softbank. The Boxee Box creator hoped both to improve the content and quality of the Boxee UI but also promised an ambitious hardware expansion. It planned more partners than just Iomega and ViewSonic and eventually hoped to be a complete TV replacement.

"We would also like to see Boxee handle all the video on a TV with no need to switch inputs," CEO Avner Ronen said.

The cash, roughly four times the $6 million Boxee raised to get started, has also led to job recruiting that has given clues as to the company's design strategy. A listing for a Senior User Experience Designer is looking both to steer the interface for the TV and the web but also tablets, pointing to plans for a direct tablet viewer. It's not mentioned which platforms would be supported, although Boxee already has remote control apps for both Android and iOS.

The expansion should be vital for Boxee, whose software has been relatively complete on Macs and Windows PCs but has been fighting to add content to challenge Apple, Microsoft, Roku and others with dedicated hardware. It just recently added Netflix streaming and has previously added Vudu movies. Boxee's selling point has been a front end that streamlines finding and watching web video, but some providers have been reluctant to provide support as it threatens their traditional TV businesses. Boxee has plans to get Hulu Plus but hasn't yet had an implementation go live.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. facebook_Jeff

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2011

    0

    comment title

    I like this. Integrate Boxee into a DVR or Blu-Ray player and you've really got something. I like my Roku, but they clearly have no interest in being an end-to-end solution. Boxee could be that.

  1. TomSawyer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +1

    Check the math

    $16.5m is over 8% shy of 3 times (not four) their starting capital ... if that amount was the advertised $6mil. Where I come from, a less than 300% increase isn't roughly 400%.

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000

    0

    you go!

    Good job Boxee! Keep up the good work. It's too bad that Apple couldn't pull their heads out when there was an opportunity to make Boxee an interface for AppleTV. I hope you guys get some great hardware deals that will put you front and center. I would entertain the idea of an HDTV with your UI.

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