Index leads $45m round for next Skype

Joost, a website bringing free TV over the internet, has secured funding from five venture firms on the back of its roster of blue chip advertisers.

Joost has received $45 million from five venture capital firms including Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital. It said it will use its backers to help it develop global alliances so that the business can expand.

                              

Viacom will make its brands available on internet TV.

Joost brings television to computers and combines it with interfaces like chatrooms and playlists.

 

The company was founded in January 2006 and launched commercially on 1 May this year. Joost said it was not yet profitable but by the time of its launch it had attracted 32 advertising partners including Coke and Nike. 

 

A Joost spokesman said its main competitor is Babelgum. Both companies are at the beta testing stage of their development.

 

Danny Rimer, general partner of Index Ventures said: “I see the ground-breaking potential in Joost that we saw in Skype” the provider of software for free internet telephone communications. Skype provided Index with one of Euopean ventures all-time high returns of €3.3 billion.

 

He said the team at Joost would be retained as the company expanded.

 

CBS Corporation, Hasbro and Viacom are content partners for Joost and will provide channels and programming on Joost.