Web TV start-up Aereo snags $38M for expansion to new cities
Michelle Clancy | 10-01-2013
The controversial, Barry Dilller-backed TV start-up Aereo will soon expand to 22 new cities, including Boston, Miami and Chicago, using a new $38 million funding round to do so.
Aereo is currently only available in New York City and costs $8 per month. It provides feeds of local free-to-air TV channels on mobile devices, tablets and computers in an over-the-top (OTT) play. The networks are suing the company for copyright infringement for rebroadcasting their channels without consent or retransmission fees, but Aereo insists it is legit, thanks to the dime-sized antennae that the company gives to subscribers. The service has already won a partial legal victory when a judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction to shut the service down.
The planned expansion would allow the company to reach 97 million consumers. The streamer will offer the service initially on an invite-only basis, which those interested can sign up for on the Aereo website.
"Aereo's technology is simply one of the easiest, most convenient ways for consumers to access broadcast television," CEO and founder Chet Kanoja said in a statement. "Consumers want and deserve choice. Watching television should be simple, convenient and rationally priced. Aereo's technology provides exactly that: choice, flexibility and a first-class experience that every consumer deserves."
IAC and Highland Capital led Aereo's Series B round, which also included previous investors such as FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital and High Line Venture Partners.