Over The Aereo
Growing Up VC
Hey, look: It’s some actual news out of CES, which has absolutely nothing to do with Evernote-integrated refrigerators! New York-based, Barry Diller-backed TV-streaming service Aereo has been teasing an expansion for some time now, and in a speech today from CEO Chet Kanojia, the company made its move.
The service will roll out to 22 new cities, including Boston, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C, starting in the late spring. Aereo will continue its “Try for Free” program in each of the cities, so would-be cord-cutters can get a taste, but it’ll be invitation-only at first.
These days, venture capitalists do so much more than write checks; in fact, it’s starting to seem like some VCs will do everything short of give their portfolio companies backrubs. Investors—many of them former or current entrepreneurs themselves—host dinners, make introductions, sit on boards, and gently or not-so-gently nudge startups in one direction or another. It’s the buddy VC—business mentor, recruiter, shoulder to cry on, never more than an email away.
A story in Crain’s sums up the buddy VC phenom nicely: “More than financiers, they are mentors, rabbis and consiglieres, all wrapped up in one.”
A magical thing happened at IAC’s headquarters this morning. A startup called Aereo displayed the most compelling argument for cord-cutting we’ve heard in awhile. It came in the form of a thumbnail-sized HD antenna. Sign up with Aereo and users get the right to license their own antenna, which are stored in a local warehouse. Then, log on via any web-enabled device (smartphones, iPads, even AppleTV) and ta-da, members can access major networks like CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW, and PBS, as well as other local channels. Better yet, you also have the ability store up to 40 hours of programming on their remote DVR.
“No cords or cable required,” the company’s press release says pointedly. The service is limited to New York City right now, but only costs $12 a month. Throw in a Netflix account, Hulu, and you’re probably good to go. Happy Valentine’s Day, Dying Cable Industry!
Aereo (formerly called Bamboom Labs) also anounced a $20.5 million series A round led by IAC.