Pluto TV, the startup aiming to build a Spotify-like free service for TV content, has received $5 million in funding from Samsung Venture Investment Corp., the venture-capital arm of the Samsung Group. The financing is part of an $8.3 million round that included participation from other investors.
The funding brings L.A.-based Pluto TV to a total of $51.8 million raised to date. A year ago, the company raked in $30 million in Series B funding led by Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 with participation from investors including Scripps Networks Interactive.
Pluto TV said it will use the funding to further build out its product, content and marketing efforts. Founded in 2013, Pluto TV offers more than 100 channels of free, ad-supported curated content in a cable-like guide.
“Samsung is the global leader in the TV market, changing the way people experience entertainment through constant innovation,” Pluto TV CEO Tom Ryan said in a statement. “Their investment in Pluto TV is a great vote of confidence in our mission to bring free internet television to consumers everywhere.”
Added Jihong Kim, senior investment manager at Samsung Ventures, “Pluto TV is the leading free internet TV service in America, and we see huge potential for the company as they scale their cutting-edge offering to viewers around the world.”
In 2017, Pluto TV has announced over 40 content deals. Its partners include Warner Bros., Lionsgate, MGM, Bloomberg Media, Al Jazeera English, Cheddar, Gravitas Ventures, Asylum, Viz Media, Electronic Music Awards, Big Sky Conference, Stadium, Jukin Media, and JASH, the comedy studio formed by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, and Reggie Watts.
Other investors in Pluto TV include U.S. Venture Partners, Sky, Luminari Capital, Chicago Ventures, Third Wave Capital Partners, and LionTree Advisors.