In an acquisition reported at around $30 million dollars, Samsung has purchased Boxee, the smart TV provider that looked to blend TV and the web. It might not be the greatest deal for the New York/Tel Aviv startup who raised $26 million in funding to date, but the negotiation has serious implications for the future of Samsung’s TV offerings. For starters, Boxee’s impressive interface will likely serve Samsung well with easier searchability and an open approach to third party developers. Even more interesting is Boxee’s suite of mobile apps which Samsung may borrow from to enhance their mobile integration for their “All-Share” product. With a slew of leading smartphones, there could be big business in a mobile component that lets users toggle between screens seamlessly–and what’s more are the advertising opportunities for cross-platform targeting. So while the smart TV space is relatively nascent (save for Xbox’s 60 million users), Samsung’s acquisition could make them a leader in the space and enable streaming media in the living room to break into the mainstream.
Boxee’s latest features–namely cloud-based DVR and streaming services–can now integrate into Smart TVs without the dedicated Boxee box thanks to a partnership with Sigma. The new development creates a turnkey Boxee bundle, allowing any TV OEM include Smart TV and streaming services directly to their hardware. Stay tuned to see if any major players incorporate the NY company’s technology in the future.
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Over the top digital media browsers (or set top boxes) are on fire with two players receiving major investments in the last twoÂ weeks.Â Boxee, a software based digital media browser has just closed a round of financingÂ for 6 million and Roku, a broadband set top box solutions has just secured $8.4 million in new venture capital financing from Menlo Ventures.
Boxeeâ€™s software enables users to engage with content stored on their PC and can be used on any type of monitor connected to that PC, paving the way for another living room on demand solution.Â Boxee strives to improve the consumerâ€™s content experience by enabling a number of social features to allow sharing of content and suggestions in a very robust manner.Â The bulk of the investment comes from General Catalyst Partners who will also have a board seat.Â Boxee hopes that theÂ GC relationship will “strengthen [their] relationships with big media and cable companies.”Â Boxee learned the hard way with an early battle with Hulu who blocked use of their portal on the Boxee platform.Â Â But Boxee already has steep competition from other browser based solutions as well as hardware solutions. Continue reading “Boxee, Roku get infusion of cash”