Joost Gets Sequoia, CBS, Viacom Funding; Unleashes Beta Invites

joost funding invitesI’ve written about Joost before because I thought it was a compelling application that may one day change the way we watch TV. .. oh and as a beta tester had a few invites to give out as well.  Now Joost is allowing all beta testers to invite an unlimited number of friends, so if there is anyone still left out there without an invite who wanted one just comment on this post and I’ll set you up (as long as there aren’t 100’s!). 

Joost, founded just a year and a half ago by former Skype and Kazaa founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, appears to be on the verge of a full public launch within just a few weeks. Today, they announced a round of investments from the likes of Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, CBS and Viacom.  Said Friis “This funding represents a tremendous vote of confidence in Joosts platform. Weve carefully selected these investors from a variety of interested parties, as they are best-in-class in their respective arenas and bring unique assets to Joost that will enable us to significantly accelerate growth and development of the Company.

GigaOm offers up some interesting insight into the relationships between the investors and founders.  You might remember that Sequoia was an early investor in Google and YouTube.  With Viacom suing Google over YouTube and simultaneously investing in another free video application that aims to better control copyrighted content, the internet tv industry is really getting interesting. 

Despite the excitement over Joost and today’s announcement of funding from some prominent players, it’s not without problems.  I haven’t had a chance to use it all that much but it seems half the time I do logon, the network is unavailable.  Some critics have argued that the P2P architecture won’t provide the necessary quality.  An abundance of top quality content (which they don’t yet have) won’t matter a darn bit if the network isn’t up 99.9% of the time with high quality video.  All in all, Joost is an exciting application with impressive resources behind it, but they have a long way to go before people will be compelled to watch television programming on their monitor.  Perhaps once beta testing is over and if prime time programming from Viacom is released, my opinion will change.  For now, there are a million other things I’d rather be doing than watching Joost.

16 thoughts on “Joost Gets Sequoia, CBS, Viacom Funding; Unleashes Beta Invites”

  1. I started using Joost when it was “the venice project” and have been impressed with the delivery mechanism. Although they claim many big content providers, the programming they have right now are the B-list shows that those networks dont air anyway. Until Joost has better shows, or it is less convenient to pirate, it is not a better alternative.

  2. Hi Colin, I completely agree with you. The providers are coming but they’re not giving up the goods!! Until/unless that happens Joost will be an expensive failure in my opinion.

  3. Hi Tate,
    I’ve had the chance to watch a quick preview from joost and I was amazed by the quality of the video which seems not to lag at all.
    The sofware looks also easy to use and very interactive.Nevertheless, I have two questions for you: Do you know if it is possible to buy joost’s shares on the stockmarket yet?
    Could you send me an invite, then I could enjoy it at home?

    Thanks from Paris, France

  4. Hi Luis,

    Yeah it’s impressive technology and the quality can be very good at times.. I’ve heard rumors of some big announcements coming about content providers so we’ll see.

    Joost is a private company so you can’t buy shares on the open market.. Considering they are far from generating revenue there won’t be an IPO anytime soon

  5. Luis, please email me your first/last name and email address you want to use and i’ll invite you. support at

  6. It does lag a slight bit on my computer, but once the controls hide themselves and i leave it be for a few seconds it lags very little. I agree that the shows available now are second rate and not too interesting. The other problem is that i like to watch tv AND use my computer at the same time. If they came out with a self contained Joost unit for your tv i’d buy it.

  7. hey tate, can you send me an invite to joost? it sounds amazing.

  8. Hey, I’ve been dying for a Joost invite so if there are any left please consider my request. Thanks in advance and keep a look out for that IPO 🙂 I’m sure it will be very promising.

  9. this is awsome. I’m looking for an invite , can you send me one Tate and many thanks in advance

  10. Hi, Thanks for the informative article Tate, could you possibly send me an invite if it’s not too much bother. Many Thanks, David.

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