Boxee, the free open-source software that’s set to reinvent the living room, has acquired a $6M round of financing led by General Catalyst Partners, along with financing from their original investors Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. “[G]iven the momentum and opportunities we’ve seen over the past few months, we thought it made sense to bring in a new partner and additional funds,” wrote founder Avner Ronen on the Boxee blog this morning.
To help them make deals with big media companies, managing director of General Catalyst Neil Sequeira joined Boxee’s board. According to his bio, Mr. Sequeira was the former managing director of technology for Time Warner Investments and worked with AOL, HBO, Time Inc., Time Warner Cable, Turner and Warner Bros. on possible investments.
“We wanted a partner to help us as we strengthen our relationships with big media and cable companies,” Mr. Ronen explained. “As we learned (the hard way), it is a complicated world. Neil and General Catalyst as a firm have years of experience, deep understanding, and extensive network in these industries, and we are looking forward to working together with them.”
Along with working on a new “beta” release by this fall and bringing in more “ad-based, subscription-based and a la carte type services” to the software, Mr. Ronen and his team is focusing on getting Boxee onto a hardware device by 2010.
“Boxee today is mostly serving a tech-savvy audience – those who feel comfortable connecting a computer to a TV,” he wrote. “To make Boxee more accessible for a mainstream consumer it’s important for us to get Boxee embedded into connected TVs and Blu-Ray players, game consoles and set-top boxes. We’re already talking to device makers to ensure Boxee works on a variety of platforms for 2010.”
Boxee needs to keep up with devices already bringing Web content to TV setboxes–including TiVO and Roku, which recently increased partnership deals for Web show distribution with Blip.tv.