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Summary:

Open-source social media center Boxee announced today that it has raised $4 million in its first round of funding from Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital, which split the round 50-50.

Open-source social media center Boxee has raised $4 million in its first round of funding from Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital, which split the round 50-50. Union Square’s Fred Wilson and Spark’s Bijan Sabet are lead investors.

According to a Boxee spokesperson, the funding will be used not only to keep the doors open but to hopefully instill confidence in potential partners, such as device manufacturers, that Boxee will be around for awhile.

Boxee is a free, open-source media platform initially based on the XBMC project that allows users to watch and share media like movies, music and more from Internet-connected devices hooked up to their TVs. The company went into alpha in June of this year.

The New York-based company was started in earnest in 2007 has 10 employees, eight of whom are in Israel.

It’s always notable when a company gets funding in this current economic climate, but what makes Boxee more intriguing is that much of the news about the service recently revolved around hacking it onto devices like the Apple TV, or unofficially integrating services like Hulu and CBS.com.

  1. I have a hard time understanding the buzz behind Boxee, which is far as I can tell is just a branch of XBMC with a bad UI and major stability problems. The social media functionality seems like a tacked on gimmick at this point.

    Plex is already a much more stable and elegant port of XBMC to OS X, and they didn’t need venture funding to get there.

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  2. Also, I hereby promise to finish my coffee and proofreading before posting again.

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  3. Is it rude to ask about the business model?

    Its great that they got $4million but how are they going to make money on something that is aggregating someone elses content and appeals only to people who dont want to pay.

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  4. Roger, good question. Their current plan seems to be to eventually get affiliate relationships with content owners / providers. See this

    http://newteevee.com/2008/10/31/boxee-wants-to-enlist-tv-pirates-to-grow-hulus-audience/

    for more details.

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  5. Joost is partnering with Boxee and while Im not privy to the details of the partnership Im sure its a rev share deal and Boxee will use Joost’s Metadata to send users to the Joost version of the content that will have Joosts advertising, the Social aspect of Boxee is also similar to Joost’s JoostFeed and Joost has a API that Boxee is currently developing .

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  6. It’s interesting that the Boxee, and XBMC software innovation grew from the fruits of the original hacked Xbox platform. Hard to imagine all the ideas we could have developed had the Xbox been open.

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  7. [...] fixes. With a such a solid team of developers that care about their users and having just raised $4 million in new funding, I am really looking forward to seeing what will come next from the boxee [...]

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  8. [...] adoption. Granted, it’s still only in alpha, so that can be forgiven. The company just raised $4 million, now it needs to get built into some consumer hardware to see if it can take [...]

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  9. [...] its clean interface. Boxee now has more than 240,000 users checking out its alpha, and, oh yeah, it raised $4 million in October, helping ensure that its 12-person staff will have jobs through [...]

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  10. [...] The company is not just a side project; it has venture capitalists to answer to, after receiving $4 million in VC funding from Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital last [...]

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