Roku, the company that makes web-connected TV boxes, announced Wednesday night that it raised a $45 million investment round led by News Corporation, BSkyB, Menlo Ventures, and Globespan Capital Partners.
Roku’s devices let you stream content from popular services such as Hulu, Netflix, HBO GO, and Pandora to your TV. The company plans to release a “Streaming Stick” in the fall that packs all of Roku’s features into a device that’s slightly larger than a USB thumb drive. (It’ll plug into a special HDMI port in some TVs.)
In the announcement, Roku says it’ll use the new cash to market its products in other countries and develop new hardware.
Roku currently offers four different boxes that start as low as $50. The top-of-the-line model costs $100.
With two big-name media companies now backing Roku, it’s very likely the company will be able to get some exclusive content not found on other streaming devices.
Intel Capital announced today a $100 million fund devoted to cars.
So what’s a chip company doing betting on technology in cars?
Intel estimates that by 2014, cars will be one of the top three fastest-growing markets for connected devices and Internet content. That eventually gives Intel an opportunity to put more of its chips in a whole new place: cars.
As an Intel manager put it in the press release announcing the fund: “The car is the ultimate mobile device.”
The Intel Capital Connected Car Fund will invest in technologies such as advanced driver assistance systems, speech recognition, gesture recognition, and eye tracking.
But there’s no mention of self-driving cars just yet. That is all Google for now.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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