Lawsuits don't scare off investors
Aereo has secured $34 million in new financing, the company said Tuesday, days before the Supreme Court will consider whether to hear networks’ lawsuit against it.
Company CEO and founder Chet Kanojia will formally announce Wednesday that the company has closed a round of financing that will support Aereo’s nationwide expansion, hiring, and new technology. Aereo's chief backer, Barry Diller's IAC, was joined in the latest round by Gordon Crawford and Himalaya Capital Management, as well as previous investors Highland Capital Partners and FirstMark Capital.
Crawford, a media and entertainment industry veteran, worked at Capital Research and Management for 41 years. Himalaya Capital Management is led by global investor and human rights activist Li Lu.
Kanojia will make the announcement at the Citi Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas.
It comes as broadcast networks are asking the Supreme Court to hear their claim that Aereo is illegally stealing their signals. The court could announce a decision as early as Monday.
Also read: Aereo Won't Fight Move to Supreme Court
The company uses millions of tiny of tiny antennae to relay broadcast feeds to subscribers’ computers. It says it is merely the harnessing the power of perfectly legal antennae, but on a massive scale.
“Aereo experienced tremendous growth in 2013 and we expect 2014 to be another blockbuster year,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “Last year at this time, Aereo was launched in only New York City. Today, Aereo is available in 10 markets and will grow to 15 by the end of the quarter. In 2013, we also launched our first native app for Android, made improvements to enhance the user experience and more than doubled our employee headcount. Consumers are craving choice and options and as a result, we continue to see explosive growth across all our markets.”
Aereo is currently available to residents in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Salt Lake City, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Detroit and Baltimore.