Our Team Blog

$16.5M More For Boxee To Invest In The Future Of TV

We are happy to announce that Boxee has closed a $16.5M round of financing featuring new investors Pitango and Softbank, with participation by prior investors General Catalyst, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. Isaac Hillel from Pitango will join our board.

Our previous round of financing was $6M and at that time we were 12 employees, our software was in alpha and the Boxee Box was a dream. Fast forward 18 months and we are a different company. 34 employees, ver 1.0 of the software and the Boxee Box is available in more than 30 countries.

We are more hungry and driven than ever. Less naive, but dreaming even more ambitious dreams. We are also recruiting, so if you are a Boxee fan and passionate about what we’re doing then maybe you can join us in either NY or TLV. Check out our jobs page.

With the new funding in place we will be focusing on 3 main things:

  • 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.

We are really excited to welcome our new investors and thankful for the continued support of our existing investors. Most of all we’re happy that we get to continue to improve Boxee for our users.

March 1, 2011 at 8:00 am

117 Responses to “$16.5M More For Boxee To Invest In The Future Of TV”

  1. Steve says:

    Congrats guys! Wonderful news to hear!!

      • Fanfoot says:

        I’m sure your employees are all thrilled! Oh wait, this just washes out their shares, so not so much I guess… Though I’m sure you and the other execs got compensating shares so that didn’t happen to you.

  2. cremersstijn says:

    When will version 1.0 be available for download?

    • avner ronen says:

      No date set, yet

      • Ryan Vidal says:

        And this is the reason I have almost completely lost faith in Boxee… The community of supporters that have been with Boxee the longest have been left in the dust with an outdated version for almost 6 months (unless we buy a retail product to replace our existing hardware). This hardly seems in spirit with the original intent of Boxee.

        I hope this is remedied soon - I’d love to start using the new Boxee, just on my own terms.

        • avner ronen says:

          I understand the frustration of Win/Mac/Linux users. We would have loved to release on all platforms at the same time, but we needed to focus our resources on the box.

          • Tommy says:

            I’ve invested a lot into my HTPC and the reason I stuck with it was because of the potential Boxee has.. err, had. Combining a PVR program with Boxee gave me the ultimate “box” and now that this company has abandoned its initial core users, I’m slowly losing faith in and do not expect Boxee to continue supporting the DIYers with Win//Linux. I will never buy a Boxee box because of this poor business decision.

            Anyway, good luck with your new $$$. Hope something good comes from this.

          • Mike says:

            I have to wonder how much time was put into gutting the Beta interface for the 1.0 release. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring back the old UI. It was so much nicer than what’s running on the box now. Kind of disappointed.

        • Steve says:

          Im assuming the reason is because Boxee would have to be recoded to work on other platforms. most of their time has probably been spent on Vudu and Netflix…as it should be

      • Kellen says:

        So you’re telling me it’s been 6 months since you’ve updated the linux version and you don’t plan on updating it anytime soon, and that you’re not even remotely focused on working on it? What incentive do I have to continue supporting boxee? I already have a system I built for running boxee so I don’t want to spend another $200 on a boxee box that I can’t run anything but boxee on.

        Why don’t you just drop support for linux (and maybe mac/windows) altogether if you’re not going to support/update it?

      • FranticSheep says:

        I must say this worries me as well. I understand priorities must be made, but if I read the 3rd headline saying more partners, I cant help myself but read “More partners, less support for the linux/mac/windows versions”. I hope I’m wrong though ;) go Boxee!

        • Q says:

          I agree with the previous posts.
          A bunch of the first alpha and beta users invested in htpc.
          Now these users are left with a 6 month build, hardly being motivating to promote this to new users. Currently I hardly use the boxee software anymore because xmbc fits my purpose more and more. Don’t get me wrong, I would love a boxee box, but the price in Europe is almost twice as high as the USA price. (200 dollar vs 220 euro).
          These new investments are nice, but as I mentioned before, the world is bigger then usa and Canada, so also focus on local VOD providers or team up with local xmbc script writers.

          • Dude says:

            You’re comparing apples and oranges. You make Euros we make dollars. The price is the same. You simply cannot try to do a exchange rate conversion and come up with a acceptable price. Your purchase power (Dollars vs Euros) is the same as ours.

      • cremersstijn says:

        Why are the initial users of boxee ignored? We’ve made boxee popular!
        Can i assume that version 1.0 will not be available in the coming 3-6 months if there is still no date set? Don’t you think those users will look for other products that will update more frequently?

        • avner ronen says:

          We understand that if we will not release an update soon people will go to other places. We have to make hard choices about where we focus our developers and it’s not realistic for us to have code developed on all platforms at once.

          • Dude says:

            The hard choice you made is clear to us all. WE put you where you are and you slapped us in the face.

          • Frits says:

            You told us that we could expect version 1.0 early 2011. But now it’s early this year, there isn’t even a date. You know, I really love Boxee and check in on your blog _EVERY DAY_ to see if there is anything on releasing to the desktops. But it’s turning more and more in some kind of disappointment. I also agree with the people saying that the desktop market helped you get to this point of succes. I guess I have successfully recommended Boxee to five (maybe more) people. So please Avner, consider again. Insert coin here and make this your next big step.

          • flammenwurfer says:

            This tells me everything I need to know. You know that desktop users are what made you popular. You know that if you ignore us we will eventually go away and you seem ok with that. Actions speak louder than words. No updates, no word on when updates are coming or even if you’re working on them. Doubling your staff and devoting none of that staff to desktop development or maintenance.

            Looks like I’ll be finding better projects to support. It’s too bad too, because I really like boxee :( .

          • icurafu says:

            I just hope some of that $16.5m goes to some more developers, so you don’t have to make those hard choices.

            I understand that we don’t represent the profitable side of your business, however our word-of-mouth, blogs and forum praises is what grows boxee’s street credentials and without that, boxee would just be another DoA internet media player.

            I still use boxee, but it’s not like I’m raving about it to friends or recommending it at HTPC forums, which is what the real value could have been to boxee.

        • Koop says:

          Ok, I’ll grant you time to get Netflix and Vudu support. But now that is done. You’re telling me you STILL don’t have a date set? Lack of 1.0 software on the PC is the single biggest thing preventing me from buying a Boxee Box.

          • Brandon says:

            I was an early adopter of Boxee. I started using it sometime in 2008, and have used it since. While I would have bought a Boxee Box I live in Japan and the extra features it provides does not work here. ie Netflix, and Vudu.

            So I stuck with the Linux version. Sure I would like to use the new 1.0, but the 0.9beta works just fine for now.

            @ the Boxee team. Not all of us are upset with your business decision to focus on paying customers. I personally have gotten at least 15 people to use Boxee at home and will continue to do so.

            Congrats on the $$$ and I look forward to seeing the Boxee project progress.

      • @Johnson_Brett says:

        You BASTARDS… don’t you know you are supposed to work for free, never making a profit on your time and financial investments, and meet these folks every command…

        I appreciate your hard work and love my Boxee Box and my 2 Windows setups.

        Have a great day.

        • Frits says:

          Wow, that’s quite a blunt statement you’re trying to make. Because it’s the user base who’ll make or break a ‘new’ piece of software. It’s not that all of the above are implying that the Boxee team shouldn’t make money out of it, or put all of their resources on it. We’re just frustrated that there are so many voices (please look again at this whole thread) are shouting out for at least SOME people to focus on adjusting the software to the other platforms. And maybe with the investment that could be achieved. $0.02

      • Roontoon says:

        Then set one. You made a statement that it would be early 2011 for the 1.0 releases on win/mac. You really need to understand that is was OUR word of mouth that created the BUZZ that you are now surfing on. Yes I do understand that you have to take care of the $$ side of your business but please REMEMBER who helped you get there and devote some of that $16m to this issue.

        d

  3. Congratulations!
    I hope this will make Boxee even better : )
    There’s still plenty of room for good content if you’re e.g. from The Netherlands.
    Also, Spotfiy integration would be a killer feature.
    Just my 2ct, Keep up the good work!

    • avner ronen says:

      Yes. More resources to make Boxee better. We realize there is much more for us to do in Europe. Getting Spotify on Boxee will be huge for us.

  4. Joe Omansky says:

    Congratulations on an excellent raise! Excited to see movement forward and looking forward to great things to come.

  5. DMAN says:

    GO BOXEE TEAM - GO!!!!

  6. Conrad Callegari says:

    This is fantastic news, especially the “We will increase the pace” part! Just make sure you don’t rush yourselves. Great work!

  7. Itsik says:

    Great product, would love to see some more Canadian content as US content is not available, keep the great work in development.

  8. Thegriff says:

    That’s awesome news but I read it with a question in my mind. Does this mean progress on the Windows and Linux clients will begin again?

  9. Pete says:

    Hm, for some reason I am reminded of Amiga inc…

    Anyway, how is the Viewster app coming along?

  10. Marc Hayem says:

    Congratulations Avner. Glad to see that you are building momentum.

  11. Christina says:

    Congrats, guys!

  12. Yay! Go Boxee go!

  13. Bennycore says:

    NICE!

    One Question: when will the german version release?

    Thanks nd greez!

  14. gc says:

    Great news. Congrats to all involved. I’m excited to see what this will mean for existing BB owners like me (perhaps some more non-US content, eg Spotify, LoveFilm, etc)!

    Out of interest, will there ever be a chance for small private investors to invest?!

    • avner ronen says:

      We would love to have Lovefilm and Spotify for our European users. Re investment for small private investors. Current SEC regulations in the US make it very difficult to open up a round in this way without actually going public.

  15. Garagegoblin says:

    Awesome News Guys!! I am sorry some people on here only know how to complain. I own a Boxee Box, I have boxee on my two linux laptops and my windows Desktop. I appreciate that this is one company that I get to talk directly to and hear the news straight from the source. Thank you for being so awesome!!!

    • avner ronen says:

      Thanks and glad to hear you are an avid user. For people who didn’t buy the Boxee Box it is very frustrating to see the PC/Mac/Linux vers being “neglected”, which we understand.

      • Garagegoblin says:

        I see a position for technical support, any chance your team would consider off-site technical support?

  16. Parris says:

    Avner,

    I emailed my resume, now hire me so I can work for Team Boxee and help make this vision a reality!

  17. Dave Drager says:

    Congrats on the investment guys. Can’t wait to see what you come up with, no doubt it will be game changing! Just don’t forget about the people who supported you from the beginning, before the Boxee Box, even if it means charging for your software.

  18. dirq says:

    Go go Boxee!

  19. beerkeg says:

    This is great news - your hard work paid off and there’s so much more to come. Congrats! This is what entrepreneurship and innovation is all about.

  20. Dennis Dein says:

    Avner and the Boxee Team, Congratulations !!! For a job well done. This says to me ya must be doing something right! Keep up the good work! Boxee on !

    • avner ronen says:

      Thanks! It mostly means we were able to convince investors there are many reasons to believe Boxee is going to be big. Now we need to do our best and make it happen.

  21. Aaron says:

    When the boxee v1.0 is released for mac, windows and Linux, will they all have netflix (Canada) support.

    • avner ronen says:

      We don’t have a date, yet, but Netflix Canada will likely only be available on the Boxee Box, and not on a downloadable version

      • esteband says:

        Anver, can you explain why this is the case? What exactly is preventing Netflix (Canada) from the desktop version, if and when 1.0 is released?

  22. VC Cafe says:

    Congratulations on a significant round. Hope this funding will help you go all the way with the vision.

    A question for you is - can the vision also include no more pre-rolls and intrusive advertising on free premium content, please? :-)

    • avner ronen says:

      Well, that stuff is not in our control…

      Most content owners want to monetize in one way or another, so it’s either pre-rolls, sponsored content or some form of payment…

  23. Dude says:

    Great. Maybe once again you can spin your wheels and rush another product out that is not quite ready for the market and ignore the community that helped you get “Almost there”.

    • avner ronen says:

      Dude,

      I understand your frustration about the lack of an update for the PC/Mac version. We hear it loud and clear. I realize you’re not looking for yet another explanation, so I am not going to give you one.. We hope we can bring out these versions out in a timely manner.

      Avner

  24. tyler says:

    Actually in finance/banking, “M” means thousand and “MM” means million. So you raised “$16.5MM”. I don’t know why they don’t use “k” for thousand. Makes no sense to me either. Congrats anyways!

    • Dude says:

      Absolutely not standard in THE first world country. I routinely work with numbers in the millions and NEVER has MM been even hinted at to represent million. It may be standard where you are but a first world banking person would look at you like you’re crazy.

  25. Ross M says:

    Avner,

    Will this possible speed up the ballpark projection you gave of apr/may for the next box update? I’d love to get that 3TB support soon….

    Congrats on the capital - long overdue for you guys, you deserve it

  26. liverhead says:

    Congrats on securing the funding, I was wondering if there is any updates on the horizon for the boxer browser? I am a Linux user and the current version is woefully inadequate/utterly useless! If you want to bridge the gap between internet and tv you need a kickass browser, I mean browsing with PIP while watching tv, that’s the future! Well it pumps my nads anyway!

  27. Kellen says:

    Question about version 1.0 on linux.

    It is currently possible to manually compile version 1.03 from source. It’s not completely functional but somewhat works. It seems that the people making this software should be able to make the tweaks to get it working well fairly easily if amateurs are manually compiling it and making it usable.

    Is it really that hard or time consuming to do that you can’t release an update every once in a while?

  28. Olly S says:

    While I understand that the Boxee Box gets first priority - those users did pay for it and expect it to work nicely :) - please don’t forget us Boxee homebrew users who helped popularize the service. We’re still giving you guys revenue by using the platform! Hopefully with this new cash boost you will be able to allocate a few more developers to the desktop versions. Please…. :)

    PS Spotify please please please!!!!

    PPS And sort out the integrated music library. It’s unusable with a large library! Some form of iTunes like Genius feature for music would be nice too, although that is a long way off I know. ;)

  29. schnoid says:

    Congrats on the investment. I hope that you guys will add some functionality to boxee that will actually allow local cover art, local naming, and local folders so everything isn’t relying on imdb. This functionality was one of the big requests from the beginning and I personally have steered many potential customers away from the boxee box because of this basic lack of functionality. WDTV got a ton more business from my referrals.

  30. Bruce says:

    Great news! I look forward to what you bring to the Boxee Box next! I thought I was satisfied with my ATV Flashed Apple TV (1st gen) until you guys dropped the Box on me. Now I’m a happy convert and look forward to continued development. Also, while I liked Boxee on my Mac I understand your decision to focus on the Box and partner products. Hopefully this focus will bring continued great development to your products. Just don’t forget us early Box adapters as you continue development and work with partner products!

  31. Jim says:

    Can you take a teeny bit of that cash and use it to fix the thumbnail problems? It should be click-pick-load-boom. It sucks having 50% of your TV shows showing up as blank tiles. Greatly diminishes the experience. I know I am not alone in ranking this as a top problem, and we users have been waiting a long time for a fix… so PLEEEEEAAASE??

    • Wes says:

      I agree on thumbnail saves. I want to be able to save these locally possibly on the sd slot? Is this something that can be done feasibly in the near future? If not what is the next big thing u guys are trying to tackle? I hope your not spending most of your development time on the boxee iPad ap.

  32. Jeremy says:

    Please do not release another Boxee Box! I think we are all perfectly fine with the current box. The only thing I would like to see is an official Boxee IR dongle and more content. While you guys have Netflix (finally), it doesn’t seem like you have it as seamlessly integrated as you do with Vudu.

  33. Avner,

    Congratulations on your funding. My company has a unique offering that may be compatible with your infrastructure growth. How can I open a dialogue in confidence?

  34. Texas says:

    That is fantastic news!

    I look forward to the future.

    steam rooms

  35. Jeremy says:

    When will hulu+ be available?

  36. Mr Wonderful says:

    So did guys fire KIPPEN for all his bullshit lies and pathetic PR during the netflix fiasco ?

  37. Ross M says:

    More blog activity would be present if questions submitted after the first day of the post were answered as well….just a suggestion. Love the product though.

  38. David Lloyd says:

    I think you should visit Portland Oregon. We have a lot of technology people here and I think showing what Boxee is about would be great for Boxee. Plus it would be a great boost for your business. We could do something at Pioneer Square in Downtown Portland a major center for most people. I am new to Boxee but I am looking forward to see what you guys can do in the next year!

    Thank
    David

  39. Oded says:

    That’s great new.
    Please focus on the Music side of things, they are very limited at this point. I point the world’s simplest feature:

    Shuffle all songs in library.

    I’m sure that shouldn’t take much of your resources.

    Thanks.

  40. Jim Merrell says:

    Boxee,
    We pre-ordered the D-Link Boxee Box on Amazon this past August. We received it in late November as promised. We waited for Netflix and was happy in Feb when it came online.

    Wished we could of made the Atlanta meetup on March 9 but had to work. We will make the next one that you host near Atlanta.

    We love the box but it has been having problems:

    1. It locks up at times.
    2. The video sometimes gets jammed up from the previous commercial with it staying on the right hand side or center in an inset box while current show audio plays.

    Would be nice to see additional features:
    1. capability to order the apps ie putting netflix at top etc for frequently used apps
    2. capability to separate VUDU movies from NON PPV movies, takes too long to view list when looking for free movies. (Basically separate Pay movies from free movies)

    Saying all this we love the product and are looking forward to updates in the future.

    Looking forward to an IPO because we want stock in Boxee when it goes public because we think you guys are going to change how TV is viewed.

    We ditched cable back in Dec and Boxee and Netflix are working pretty well for us.

    Keep up the great work!

  41. Jeff Payne says:

    Good to hear. Maybe one of the areas you could start showing some more attention is the free online content. One of the things that really makes boxee stand out when compared to other media devices is not being worked on.

    Rafael’s comment on http://jira.boxee.tv/browse/BOXEE-7152:

    “This issue is not assigned because it is a General issue. few people in Boxee working on enhancing the playback experiece for all channels.”

    Isn’t one of the selling points about boxee being able to view free online content through the Shows library? Plenty of other devices offer Netflix, VUDU, Amazon VOD, and Hulu Plus. Few allow access to as much FREE online content as Boxee does, or at least did. Why not make that part of the experience as smooth as possible?

    After all, there are six main menu icons on the home page,the third one being Shows…

  42. egorgry says:

    Congrats. Amazon on demand please.

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