Boxee raises $6 million, eyes more deals

In a challenging market, the media center software start-up hopes to ink more partnerships with set-top box manufacturers and content companies.

Boxee, a New York-based start-up that makes "media center" software, announced Wednesday that it has raised $6 million in a Series B financing round led by General Catalyst Partners. Existing investors Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital also participated in the round.

Boxee raised its series A round, to the tune of $4 million , last November. With the new financing the company hopes to ink more deals with media companies and set-top box manufacturers, as well as hire more employees to keep building out its technology (which includes a developer platform). Currently in an alpha test phase, Boxee hopes to expand to a beta test in October.

More deals will also help Boxee gain some industry cred. It has still been unable to convince Hulu, now the big name in premium online video, to reverse a ban on Boxee's access to its content --which includes a huge library from NBC Universal, News Corp., and Disney's ABC Entertainment.

"I think that the best thing that we could do in order to become partners with Hulu is, on one end, work with other media companies so they see that Boxee is overall a friendly company to content owners," CEO Avner Ronen told CNET News. "And the second is that we need to grow our footprint, we need to grow our user base, we need to get on more digital devices, and I think if we do those things it will open the opportunity up for us to partner with Hulu."

"Our belief is that, eventually, content owners need to follow the users," Ronen said.

 

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