Content Firm Into Networks Gets $36M From MSOs, Others

Into Networks Inc., a developer of content-delivery software for broadband networks, secured $36.6 million in private-equity financing from a group of investors that includes three cable MSOs.

Investors in the latest round of financing are Cox Communications Inc., Adelphia Communications Corp., NTL Inc., UnitedGlolbalCom Inc. and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.

Cox and UnitedGlobalCom will also receive seats on Into's board of directors as a result of the investment.

Previous investors in Into include Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corp., Motorola Inc., MediaOne Group Inc./AT & T Corp., Ink-tomi Corp., Fidelity Ventures, Venrock Associates, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, National Computer Board of Singapore, Lauder Partners and YAS Broadband Ventures.

Into will use the latest round of financing to grow its operations, deploy content servers in order to expand its software-on-demand platform and launch new marketing for customer acquisition.

"These relationships are extremely important to us and to broadband customers around the world as we deploy our content-delivery platform and server network through last-mile partnerships with local service providers," Into chief executive Vincent Grosso said in a prepared statement.

Last week, Into also reached an agreement with Disney Interactive, a unit of The Walt Disney Co., to create the Disney Interactive Channel on Into's service, providing Disney content over Into's broadband-content-delivery platform.

Included in the initial 12-title lineup are Disney/Pixar's "A Bug's Life Action Game" and Disney's "The Lion King Activity Center" and "Winnie the Pooh Kindergarten."

In addition to the games offered on this channel, users can access children's creativity software like Disney's "Magic Artist Studio" and "Princess Fashion Boutique" on a pay-for-play basis.

In December, Into announced a national deployment agreement with Road Runner, and it plans initial deployments with Cox and Adelphia this summer. In addition, the company is working with Excite@Home Corp., Comcast Corp., U S West and NorthPoint Communications Inc.