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Aereo closes $34 million Series C round of funding

Startup locked in a legal battle with broadcast TV companies plans to use the financing to fund nationwide expansion.

An array of Aereo antennae
Aereo's arrays of tiny antennae let consumers watch live, local television broadcasts online. Aereo

Aereo, the startup currently embroiled in courtroom battles with broadcast television companies, announced Tuesday it has closed a $34 million Series C round of financing.

Aereo, which launched in New York last year, uses antenna/DVR technology to let consumers watch live, local, over-the-air television broadcasts on some Internet-connected devices, including the iPad and iPhone. That capability provoked a legal battle from TV broadcast giants including NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS, which allege that the service violates their copyrights and that Aereo must pay them retransmission fees. (CBS is the parent company of CNET.)

The company said it plans to use the new funds to support nationwide expansion and build its workforce and infrastructure. Joining this round were media investor Gordon Crawford and Himalaya Capital Management, as well as existing investors Highland Capital Partners, and FirstMark Capital.

"Aereo has scaled very quickly in 365 days and this additional funding will allow us to maintain this rapid pace of growth," Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia said in a statement. "We are thrilled to have a world-class group of investors who believe innovative, cloud-based technologies, like Aereo, are the future."

Kanojia said the service, which is currently available in 10 markets, will expand to 15 by the end of the quarter.