Joost raised $45m from a select group of investors.
“We’ve got the product out there. Now it’s all about accelerating and expanding the business,” he said. “This funding round is all about accelerating everything.”
Until now, Joost has been funded personally by its founders, who invested part of their proceeds from selling Skype to Ebay for $2.6bn in 2005. By the time of last week’s launch, it had signed up “a few hundred thousand” people to test a beta version of the service, which was originally codenamed the Venice Project.
“The premise and the promise of Joost are very intriguing,” said Roelof Botha, general partner at Sequoia. “It is rare to come across a business that has the potential to transform an industry in quite the way Joost has.”
“While Index’s Danny Rimer and Joost co-founders go back a long way, aka Skype, CBS and Viacom are just ensuring that they get their pay-off both ways – from eventual sale of Joost and advertising on their content – for helping Joost get some traction. Ka-shing, is also an old friend – his Tom Online got Skype into China, helped grow the traffic and subscribers by millions, that led to eventual payoff pitch – sale to eBay.
What is even more interesting, Sequoia – the house that funded legendary companies like Cisco Systems, Yahoo and Google – being part of the syndicate that was “selected.” Did anyone else feel the earth move?”
Danny Rimer, general partner of Index Ventures said, “We are excited to be working with Niklas and Janus once again as we see the same ground-breaking potential in Joost that we saw in Skype. By leveraging proven P2P architecture and assembling a world class management team, they have made a powerful idea simple and brought new services to market in record time. Our investment in Joost signals Index Ventures continued commitment to investing in impactful technologies.”