Joost gets $45 mil from pals, partners

Joost, the P2P TV creation of Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, the co-founders of Kazaa and Skype. The company, just raised a whopping $45 million in funding from five investors.

“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”

Selected! Interesting choice of words, from Friis, pretty much letting everyone know who’s da boss. More importantly, it also indicated the premium valuation Joost got received. Investors lucky enough to put their money in Joost: Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures, Viacom, CBS and Chinese tycoon, Li Ka-shing.

While Index’s Danny Rimer and Joost co-founders go back a long way, aka Skype, CBS and Viacom are just ensuring that they get their pay-off both ways – from eventual sale of Joost and advertising on their content – for helping Joost get some traction. Ka-shing, is also an old friend – his Tom Online got Skype into China, helped grow the traffic and subscribers by millions, that led to eventual payoff pitch – sale to eBay.

What is even more interesting, Sequoia – the house that funded legendary companies like Cisco Systems, Yahoo and Google – being part of the syndicate that was “selected.” Did anyone else feel the earth move?

I hope Joost puts some of these new dollars to use in building an infrastructure that can actually handle the traffic loads, and not like this past week when the service went on fritz for many of the Joost viewers. That’s the kind of thing that can prove to be a buzz kill.

And for investors who are suddenly looking at P2P TV companies, here is a short list of names that might come in handy: Babelgum, RawFlow, Jaman, Zattoo, and Neokast.

Also: Seven Reasons why Joost could fail.

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