Pluto TV Raises $13M to Continue Building TV-Like Video Service

/ Nov 20, 2014

Pluto_02

Pluto TV, a video service that aggregates and delivers online video content in a fashion that’s exactly like linear TV, has raised $13 million in a Series A round led by US Venture Partners.

Existing investors United Talent Agency, Sky plc (formerly BSkyB), Chicago Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and Luminari Capital also participated in the round.

Launched in March 2014, Pluto TV wants to continue growing. The funds raised as part of the Series A will be used to add more content to its service, as well as expand the availability of its service across web, mobile, and connected-TV platforms, the company said.

If you’re not too familiar with Pluto TV, imagine a virtual MSO that offers you channels based on individual content providers/brands like Funny or Die or Refinery29, and specific topics like the Tour de France or James Brown. The catch is, outside of its DVR feature, this content is not available on demand. Pluto TV programs specific shows and pieces of content to air during certain times of the day.

The service sources most of its content from open sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion. In total, it currently offers more than 100 channels across different content brands, topics, and interests.

While it’s certainly different from other video discovery startups, Pluto TV is also notable for having some heavy backers. Launch investors include the aforementioned companies as well as UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer, ICM partner and president Chris Silbermann, Intel Capital founder Avram Miller, former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel’s Windsor Media, and rapper Nas’ Queensbridge Venture Partners.

As part of USVP’s Series A investment, Rick Lewis, general partner at the firm, is joining Pluto TV’s board of directors.

The company has also announced that Ross Levinsohn, former CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media and interim CEO of Yahoo, Ken Scout, chief content officer of Spotify, and Stephane Kurgan, COO of King Digital Entertainment, are coming on board as advisors.

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