Joost, an Internet television service set to launch later this year, today announced $45 million in financing from two venture capital firms, two major content companies and a charitable trust. Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, CBS Corp., Viacom and Li Ka Shing Foundation each invested in a minority percentage of the company.
"We've carefully selected these investors from a variety of interested parties, as they are best-in-class in their respective arenas and bring unique assets to Joost that will enable us to significantly accelerate growth and development of the Company," Joost co-founder Janus Friis said in a statement.
Index Ventures is a European venture capital firm which invests in technologies that with global reach. Sequoia Capital, according to Joost, Sequoia has been the first investor and business partner in companies that make up 10 percent of the NASDAQ's value. Sequoia's tech investments include Google and YouTube.
Roelof Botha, general partner of Sequoia Capital, said his firm was attracted to Joost because of the way it combines the best of what television and the Internet have to offer.
"Joost allows content owners to reach audiences of any size at any time where the viewer can 'lean back' to enjoy an immersive yet interactive video experience. At the same time, Joost enables brand marketers to efficiently deliver precisely targeted and measurable advertisements," Botha said in a statement.
Li Ka-shing, chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Limited and Cheung Kong Holdings, invested in Joost through his charitable foundation, the Li Ka Shing Foundation. His participation is supposed to help Joost's deployment in Asia.
Joost would be without a great deal of video content without CBS and Viacom on board. In addition to its investment, Joost said, CBS has contributed more than 2,000 hours of CBS entertainment. And it said Viacom is a "key launch partner," providing channels and programming from across all of its properties.
In addition to CBS and Viacom partnerships that have evolved over the past couple of months, Joost also announced a content deal with Toronto-based JumpTV.
At the end of April, Joost announced how it's going to pay for at it all, unveiling 32 companies as advertising launch partners.
Global advertisers in the announcement include blue-chippers, such as the Coca-Cola Company, HP, Intel and Nike. U.S. advertisers include Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Sony and Lionsgate. In Europe, among others, IBM, Nokia and Virgin Money signed on with Joost.
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