OTT

fuboTV Nets $15M ‘B’ Round

21st Century Fox and  Sky Lead Round in Virtual MVPD 3/10/2016 8:00 AM Eastern

fuboTV, the “sports-first” virtual MVPD, said it has raised a $15 million Series B round led by Sky and 21st Century Fox, which each invested $6 million.

 

Others participating in fuboTV’s B round included DCM Ventures, Luminari Capital, LionTree Partners, Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Chris Silbermann (founding partner, ICM Partners)  and David Stern (former NBA commissioner and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame).

 

The OTT startup said it will use the  funds to develop new features and to amp up marketing in an effort to increase a subscriber base that currently stands at 40,000-plus. fuboTV has raised $20.58 million so far, according to CrunchBase.

 

Launched in January 2015, fuboTV believes it’s the second-largest virtual MVPD in the U.S. (behind Sling TV, Dish Network’s OTT-TV service for cord-cutters).

 

The millennials-focused fuboTV service starts at $9.99 per month and offers live sporting events via distribution deals with partners such as beIN SPORTS, GolTV, Univision Deportes and Benfica TV. It has also notched distribution deals with Univision Communications, Pivot and Revolt Media & TV that recently added 15 networks to its lineup.

 

Neither 21st Century Fox nor Sky are currently licensing content to fuboTV, but both “intend to work closely with fuboTV as it continues to grow,” the startup said.

 

fuboTV recently launched a next-gen app for the Amazon Fire TV that includes a cloud-based DVR as well as in-app purchasing capabilities. The OTT service also runs on Web browsers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Google Chromecast adapter, and Roku players and Roku TVs. It recently extended support to Binge On, T-Mobile’s optional bandwidth-optimization service that delivers video in 480p and exempts those streams from T-Mobile's cellular data caps.

 

The in-app purchasing component, also offered on the Fire TV Stick, will enable its subscribers to make buys using Amazon’s 1-Click settings, the programmer noted.

 

“We’re really excited to be investing in fuboTV. This investment will provide Sky with real insight and we look forward to working with the fuboTV team as they continue to explore new opportunities for growth,” Emma Lloyd, director of corporate development and strategic investments at Sky, said in a statement.

 

Sky has also splashed cash on several other OTT- and digital-focused startups, including iflix, DataXu, TV4 Entertainment, Pluto TV, Roku, Whistle Sports, and Jaunt, a VR-focused startup.

 

“We are very impressed by the fuboTV management team and the great progress they have made in a very short time,” added Ravi Ahuja, executive vice president, business operations and development for 21st Century Fox operating unit Fox Networks Group. “Ultimately, we believe streaming services like fuboTV will drive further innovation and be a win-win for consumers and programmers.” 

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