Think the VC markets have closed on young Israeli startups? Read on. TechAviv NY members Avner Ronen and Gidon Coussin today announced that their baby, Boxee, a grassroots phenomena open source social media center has secured its first round of financing from none other than Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital. East coast VC legends Fred Wilson and Bijan Sabet will be joining their board. I’m not sure what’s more valuable, the $4M they raised or having Fred and Bijan help push and steer. This is a huge win for a great bunch of guys with a killer product. A lot of credit is due to head geek Roee Vulkan and his gang on Ha’arba’a St. in Tel Aviv. They definitely flexed the gaman and launch-listen-learned there way into the most compelling media center user experiences we’ve ever seen on a TV. Boxee brings your home media (photos, music, movies) and Internet media (flickr, last.fm, hulu) on-demand to your TV and ads a social networking layer to boot so that you can discover and share the good stuff with friends while couch-bound. This is the future of TV folks.
Invites for TechAviv Members
Boxee is currently in private alpha but has already amassed over 100,000 sign ups from their considerable buzz and tweets (Aspiring CEOs take note – Avner spends much of his time engaged in Boxee twitter conversations). The guys have invited TechAviv members to join the alpha. If you’d like an invite, include your email in your comments or email me.
DISCLOSURE: I’m an advisory board member at Boxee.