Fund Me Says Sezmi

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Sezmi has secured $33 million of additional financing to fuel the 2009 launch of its hybrid Internet TV service, after the startup disclosed last week that it laid off 20% of its employees.


"This round of funding enables us to put the final touches on product development and testing, and bring the Sezmi service to market," Sezmi CEO Buno Pati said Nov. 25 in a statement.

The funding round includes new investments from Advanced Equities, and follow-on investments from previous investors Morgenthaler Ventures, OmniCapital Group, TD Fund, and Legend Ventures. The company, founded in June 2006, had previously raised $17.5 million.

"Sezmi has demonstrated not only the viability of its offering, but also its ability to reach milestones as set forth in its plan,” Bob Pavey, general partner of Morgenthaler Ventures, said in a statement. “We strongly believe in Sezmi and its management team; this funding reflects our enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to Sezmi's growth."

Sezmi last week disclosed that it laid off 20% of its employees, or about 20 people.

The startup recently completed a technical trial in Seattle with three broadcasters, which are leasing Sezmi digital TV spectrum to deliver linear cable content. The service combines broadcast TV with on-demand and linear cable and Web content, transmitted over the air and the Internet.

Sezmi has said it expects to launch service in the first half of 2009, with a base offering to include more than 30 broadcast and cable channels. It has yet to announce programming, pricing or other details of the service, including which telco providers it will offer the service in conjunction with. Originally, the startup had anticipated rolling out the service before the end of 2008.

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