Pluto.TV, an online curation platform headquartered in West Hollywood, has just pulled down a $13 million Series A funding round led by USVP. Other early-stage and strategic VCs such as Universal Music Group, United Talent Agency, Great Oaks, Luminari Capital, and Chicago Ventures got pieces of the action as well.
“We reached out to a number of investors we knew already and also had a lot of inbound interest,” said co-founder and CEO Tom Ryan. “It was important for us to assemble a strong and diverse group of investors, and we're thrilled with the result.”
Through a combination of tech, data, and human curation, Pluto.TV provides access to over 100 channels of video content including music, news, sports, entertainment, and more niche programming. It is currently available for web, smartphones, tablets, and connected television sets, and will use its new injection of cash to access even more platforms as well as beefing up its offerings.
“We're building a world class team here in LA that is constantly improving our product, attracting great new content partners and distributing Pluto broadly,” said Ryan. “We also have a few tricks up our sleeve which we'll announce when the time is right!”
Along with music-focused services such as Dash Radio and weeSPIN, Pluto is one of a growing number of LA startups challenging the way the movie and music industries spread their product. Ryan has some advice for anyone else who wants to get in the game and raise money.
“It's important to find the right investors, and while an investor's track record and ability to help add value to your specific business is critical, personal chemistry is really important, too,” said Ryan. “In selecting your lead investor or board member, it's ideal when you have worked with that person before, since there will be a foundation of trust and respect in both good times and bad. And since it might not be possible to find a lead you've worked with before, it's really important to spend a lot of time getting to know the investor prior to taking their money. Don't skimp on this.”