Joost Raises $45 Million

Joost Inc., a New York-based provider of Internet television services, has raised $45 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures led the deal, and was joined by Sequoia Capital, Li Ka Shing Foundation, CBS and Viacom. As previously announced, CBS and Viacom also are content partners with Joost, providing channels and programming. www.joost.com

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New York � May 10, 2007 � Joost�, the world’s first broadcast-quality Internet television service, today announced that five selected parties have collectively invested approximately $45 million in the company.  Each party invested in a minority percentage of the company.  This funding will enable Joost (www.joost.com) to accelerate product development, global expansion, localization, and service offerings.

Founded in January 2006 by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstr�m, Joost is powered by a secure, efficient, Internet platform that enables premium interactive, advertising-supported, video experiences while providing copyright protection for content owners and creators. Joost can be accessed with a broadband Internet connection and offers content to viewers for free.

 

“This funding represents a tremendous vote of confidence in Joost’s platform,” said Janus Friis, co-founder of Joost.  “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.” 

Index Ventures, a leading European venture capital firm, which invests in impactful technologies that have global reach, led the round with Sequoia Capital, the premier venture capital firm in the world.  Sequoia Capital has been the first investor and business partner in companies that make-up 10% of the NASDAQ’s value.   In combination, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital bring unrivaled expertise and alliances in Europe, Asia and North America.

 

Danny Rimer, general partner of Index Ventures said, “We are excited to be working with Niklas and Janus once again as we see the same ground-breaking potential in Joost that we saw in Skype.  By leveraging proven P2P architecture and assembling a world class management team, they have made a powerful idea simple and brought new services to market in record time.  Our investment in Joost signals Index Ventures continued commitment to investing in impactful technologies.”

 

Roelof Botha, general partner, Sequoia Capital, added, “Feature length video on the Internet has been long on promise and short on delivery for some time. Full screen commercial content delivered online has simply not been compelling for the viewer and has been far too costly for the content owners. 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. This ability poises the company to expand the video distribution business and capture an enormous market opportunity.”

 

Li Ka-shing, chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Limited and Cheung Kong Holdings, invested in Joost through his charitable foundation, the Li Ka Shing Foundation. Mr. Li is a valued partner in Asia.  Joost expects to work with Mr. Li and his respective affiliated companies, to expand its distribution in China and other parts of Asia. 

 

Mr. Li Ka-shing stated, “We were excited about the opportunity to invest in Niklas and Janus.  With the quality, content, speed and usability of Joost’s platform, and the community-targeted service offerings, we expect Joost will revolutionize the Internet television market.”   

 

As previously announced, CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS, CBS.A) and Viacom and are also content partners, providing channels and programming on Joost. 

 

In addition to its investment, CBS has contributed more than 2000 hours of CBS entertainment, sports and news programming. Entertainment programming offered includes the full CSI franchise, SURVIVOR, NCIS, NUMB3RS and FAT ACTRESS, news content includes THE CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC, FACE THE NATION, clips form THE EARLY SHOW, 48 HOURS, and CBS SUNDAY MORNING and sports content includes COLLEGE FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHT SHOW, NFL TODAY HOT TOPIC, GAME OF THE WEEK, ONE2ONE and GO PRO OR GO HOME.

 

Also an investor in the round, Viacom is a “Key Launch Partner” providing channels and programming from across all of its properties including: Comedy Central, MTV, VH1 and Paramount Pictures.  MTV will offer popular shows, both past and present, including Laguna Beach, Beavis & Butthead, Real World, Punk’d and My Super Sweet Sixteen, while COMEDY CENTRAL will feature episodes from Stella, CCP’s and Freak Show. Also, Paramount Pictures will be providing full-length feature films from its catalog of classics and recent releases. 

 

About Joost�

Joost� provides a new way of watching TV that combines the best of full-screen television entertainment with the interactive and community benefits of the Internet to bring broadcast-quality video to viewers anytime, anywhere. Based on a state-of-the-art, secure, peer-to-peer streaming technology, Joost can be accessed with a broadband Internet connection and offers video content to viewers for free. Joost features more than 150 channels with programming across all genres, including: cartoons and animation; entertainment and film; sports; comedy; lifestyle and documentaries; and sci-fi. Channels and programs available on Joost vary by geographic region, based on copyright ownership. To learn more about Joost, visit www.joost.com.

 

About Index Ventures

Index Ventures has been active in technology venture investing since 1996. The firm is dedicated to helping great entrepreneurial teams in the information technology and life science sectors build their companies into market-defining global leaders. The firm has offices in Geneva, London and Jersey.  Index Ventures is an active investor in the consumer internet sector and investments of note include Last.fm, the online social music revolution and Stardoll, the celebrity doll dress up site for the girls. Other landmark investments include Betfair, the world’s largest betting exchange, Skype, recently sold to eBay, and Genmab, one of the largest antibody companies in the world.  For more information, please visit http://www.indexventures.com

 

About Sequoia Capital

Sequoia Capital provides startup venture capital for very smart people who want to turn ideas into companies. As the “Entrepreneurs Behind the Entrepreneurs”, Sequoia Capital’s Partners have worked with innovators such as Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Bob Swanson of Linear Technology, Sandy Lerner and Len Bozack of Cisco Systems, Dan Warmenhoven of Network Appliance, Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!, Jen-Hsun Huang of nVIDIA, Michael Marks of Flextronics, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen of YouTube, Steve Goldman and Sujal Patel of Isilon Systems and Dominic Orr and Keerti Melkote of Aruba Wireless Networks. To learn more about Sequoia Capital visit www.sequoiacap.com.

 

About Li Ka Shing Foundation

Li Ka Shing Foundation is a charitable foundation established by Mr. Li Ka-shing in 1980 to nurture a culture of giving and to co-ordinate donations towards medical, education, cultural and other community welfare projects.  Over the years, the Foundation and other private charitable foundations established by Mr. Li have supported numerous charitable activities with grants, sponsorships and commitments of over US$1 billion.  The Foundation makes selective investment in quality projects both in Hong Kong and overseas from time to time to increase capital return for its charitable objectives.

 

About CBS Corporation

CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and The CW � a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), cable television (Showtime and CSTV Networks), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Network Television and CBS Television Distribution), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), interactive media (CBS Interactive), music (CBS Records), licensing and merchandising (CBS Consumer Products), video/ DVD (CBS Home Entertainment) and motion pictures (CBS Feature Films). For more information, log on to www.cbscorporation.com.

 

About Viacom

Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company, with prominent and respected brands.  Engaging its audiences through television, motion pictures and digital platforms, Viacom seeks to reach its audiences however they consume content.  Viacom’s leading brands include the multiplatform properties of MTV Networks, including MTV: Music Television, VH1, CMT: Country Music Television, Logo, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, and more than 130 networks around the world, as well as digital assets such as MTV.com, comedycentral.com, VSPOT, TurboNick, Neopets, Xfire and iFilm; BET Networks; Paramount Pictures; DreamWorks; and Famous Music.  More information about Viacom and its businesses is available at www.viacom.com.