There’s a lot of positive news for Aereo this week as the company announced it will expand this year to 22 new U.S. cities, and says it has raised some $38 million from investors.
Taking part in the new Series B round were current investors IAC and Highland Capital Partners. Also, earlier investors from Aereo's Series A funding round – such as FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital, and High Line Venture Partners – took part in the second funding round, as did private investors.
Given its expansion plans, the company predicts it will be accessible to over 97 million consumers. The new cities that will get the service include: Boston, Miami, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Cleveland, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham (NC), Salt Lake City, Birmingham (AL), Providence (RI), and Madison (WI).
The new cities will start getting the service in late spring. More expansion is likely. Currently, consumers can watch Aereo only if they live in New York City.
The total number of current subscribers was not released, but some sector analysts estimated it may be in the “low thousands,” news reports said. The numbers are likely to increase soon.
It offers consumers remote antenna/DVR technology, which can record or let viewers watch live broadcast TV online via Internet-connected devices.
"Aereo's technology is simply one of the easiest, most convenient ways for consumers to access broadcast television," Aereo CEO, Chet Kanojia, said in a statement. "We've been working hard to bring Aereo to consumers across the country and we're excited to expand our reach to these 22 new cities. Consumers want and deserve choice. Watching television should be simple, convenient and rationally priced. Aereo's technology provides exactly that: choice, flexibility and a first-class experience that every consumer deserves."
Aereo is supported on iPad, iPhone, Chrome, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Safari, Opera, AppleTV and Roku, according to TechZone360.
Aereo has been testing the service since July, when it was offered to New Yorkers.
“It was important to learn who these customers are and understand what it means to operate this business,” Kanojia told The New York Times. “We now have relevant data points that allow us to make the same bet in other cities.”
The new money will be used to build out the network, The Times said. Technology is required for expansion. New employees need to be hired and marketing campaigns expanded.
The company is also fighting judicial battles with broadcasters who do not want it in operation. A court case is pending.
To view a video of Kanojia announcing the expansion plans and new investment, while at the Citi Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas, held in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show, click here.
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