Boxee CEO Avner Ronen On Boxee, Raising Money, and Competing With Big Companies

Boxee’s CEO Avner Ronen sat down with Tech Confidential this week and answered some interesting questions about his company Boxee, how he raised money in this environment (from Union Square Ventures and Spark), and how he plans to compete with the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and others. The video is about 5 1/2 mins long and if you don’t have that much time, fast forward to 5:15 to see the answer to the last question. I think he nailed it.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Danny Moon

    Impressed with the determination that the Boxee team showed in raising money. It is great that they believed in what they were doing and continued to work on the product until others saw the vision also. Looking forward to trying the PC version.

  2. Chris Dodge

    While I enjoy Boxee’s user experience, I can’t help but wonder if there’s another big threat, besides just competing with Apple, Sony, etc.What happens to IP based content delivery if (or when) bandwidth metering is fully implemented? For example:…I can’t help but think the economic proposition of internet based video delivery starts to buckle. Seems like everyone assumes that end-users will always pay a fixed price for internet access. But if they start having to indirectly pay to watch content, that really may limit growth.

    1. fredwilson

      chris,this is a concern, but it impacts the content partners (Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, etc) whether their content is being viewed on the web or via boxee.and there are new forms of bandwidth coming, like the unregulated spectrum that was made available between the TV white spacesi think it’s a manageable risk, but it’s risk for sure

      1. Chris Dodge

        Yes, I should have been more diligent in my comments – this is not a Boxee specific vulnerability, but one that will give industry-wide shape to how video is consumed on the web.I’ve been developing software for the online video delivery industry for a long time (since 1999) and I’ve always felt uncertain about how broadband ISP’s will assert themselves into the economic mix once they sense money on the table. There’s realy not much money exchanging hands yet except for a few company buyouts (i.e. YouTube), but if video ads really start taking off….If ISP’s want to charge – either content providers or end-users [dare I say both?!?] – for the use of their capacity, will “ad supported” streaming solutions be viable.I’ve been trying to grok this for awhile, but will Unicast architectures really scale (also in terms of economics) , particularly if we ultimately want all on-demand HD at some point in time? I can’t say for sure one way or another yet.I think there’s ultimately a new archivecture/business model that will emerge which is in between Unicast and Multicast, with the attendant benefits of cost and capacity regulation. I’ll let you know if I come up with a solution. 🙂

  3. Darren Herman

    Boxee is a game changer. It’s a content meta-platform, agnostic of device. The amazing thing about it: it’s still in alpha.

  4. AndyFinkle

    Funny how in the interview Avner is asked about competition – specifically referred to as Microsoft and Apple… I see Boxee’s competition coming more from Firefox and the Set Top box makers going forward more so then an Apple or

  5. centernetworks

    Here’s my video interview with Avner from last week:http://www.centernetworks.c…We discuss the product, how the company plans to use the funding, mobile access, comparisons to Apple TV and Microsoft media center, Joost and NYC versus the valley. We also briefly discuss the Boxee business plan.

    1. fredwilson

      i linked to it as well in the related links section of the post. great stuff. thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment

  6. Dhru Purohit

    Just got my boxee invite this morning. it is d o p e!

    1. fredwilson

      Dope. That’s good, right? 🙂

      1. Dhru Purohit

        haha, ya.dope is a great thing.big ups Fred. You’re like the Kanye of Venture Capital. Blogging and dominating.