BSkyB Invests in Internet-Video Startup Pluto TV

British satcaster takes $500,000 stake in company, whose other backers include UTA's Jeremy Zimmer and Terry Semel

BSkyB logo

U.K. satcaster BSkyB has invested $500,000 in web-video aggregator Pluto.TV, whose previous investors include UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer and Terry Semel’s Windsor Media.

Pluto.TV, launched this spring, pulls in video from across the web and organizes it in about 100 thematic channels like music, news, sports and comedy as well as more niche areas like anime and “cats 24/7.” Users then watch the channels as linear, TV-like continuous streams or access the video on-demand on a range of devices. The L.A.-based company has not disclosed total funding raised to date.

Through the Pluto.TV investment, BSkyB hopes to gain insight into changes in how people find and consume TV and video content. Pluto.TV, meanwhile, expects to tap into the pay-TV provider’s experience packaging and promoting content.

“This partnership enables Sky to draw on the groundbreaking work Pluto.TV are doing to help viewers discover and enjoy the best of online TV through an intuitive and editorially rich TV platform,” Emma Lloyd, BSkyB’s director of corporate biz dev, said in a statement. “As we learn about new trends in the way people watch TV, we look forward to sharing our own expertise in content creation, packaging and promotion.”

BSkyB has stakes in other American tech startups, including ad-tech firm Sharethrough, Internet set-top maker Roku, virtual-reality video firm Jaunt and video-delivery provider 1 Mainstream. Earlier this year, Sky opened up a dedicated office in San Francisco to scope out partnerships with Silicon Valley startups.

Pluto.TV is currently available in the U.S., but the startup expects to roll out worldwide eventually. The service is available through iOS and Android apps, Google Chromecast, Amazon Kindle Fire tablets and Fire TV set-tops, as well as on the web at pluto.tv. The company has not disclosed how many users it has attracted so far.

BSkyB’s “considerable strengths in TV content and distribution and their leading position in Europe will be invaluable to us as we scale our business,” said Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto.TV.

Pluto.TV counts a laundry list of other investors, including: Avram Miller, founder, Intel Capital; Mich Mathews, former CMO, Microsoft; Chris Silbermann, president and partner, ICM; Greg Steiner, COO, Beachmint and former COO, eHarmony; rapper Nas & Anthony Saleh’s Queensbridge Venture Partners; Great Oaks Venture Capital; Dennis Phelps, general partner, Institutional Venture Partners; Jonathan Nelson, CEO Omnicom Digital, Omnicom Group; Tom Whalley, former CEO, Warner Bros. Records and co-founder, Interscope Records; Jamie Tarses, former president, ABC Entertainment; Brent Weinstein, head of digital media, UTA; TenOneTen Ventures managing partner David Waxman; Maker Studios SVP of marketing Jeremy Welt; and Daniel Leff’s Luminari Capital.