Joost Raises $45M from Viacom, CBS, Others

Internet-TV startup Joost said Thursday that it raised about $45 million from Viacom, CBS, venture-capital firms Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital and Chinese multibillionaire Li Ka-Shing.

Each took a minority stake in the company, according to Joost. The company said the funding will be used to accelerate product development, global expansion, localization and service offerings.

Joost, founded in January 2006 by the creators of Internet-phone software Skype, is a peer-to-peer video-on-demand system that uses proprietary software to deliver full-screen video to PCs.

The company last month announced that it has signed 32 advertising partners -- including Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Nike -- and officially launched its service May 1.

“This funding represents a tremendous vote of confidence in Joost’s platform,” Joost cofounder Janus Friis said in a prepared statement. “We’ve carefully selected these investors from a variety of interested parties, as they are best-in-class in their respective arenas and bring unique assets to Joost that will enable us to significantly accelerate growth and development of the company.”

CBS and Viacom, besides having invested in Joost, are also content partners. Other announced content providers for Joost include Turner Broadcasting System, Sony, National Geographic and Warner Bros. Records.