Investors pour $45m in funding for Joost

Joost, an Internet-based TV service being launched by the creators of Skype and Kazaa, has raised $45 million from five investors including CBS and Viacom and an influential Hong Kong telecommunications executive, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Index Ventures, a European venture capital firm, and Sequoia Capital were the lead contributors to the investment.

The fifth participant is Li Ka-shing, chairman of Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings, who invested in Joost through his charitable foundation, the Li Ka Shing Foundation, the report added.

The report further said Joost, which recently expanded a trial of its TV service to more users, transmits video with peer-to-peer technology, the signature approach that co-founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom used to launch the hugely popular Skype calling and Kazaa music-sharing services.

Skype proved so successful that it was purchased by eBay for $2.6 billion, but Kazaa drew the legal ire of the music industry as users downloaded music without paying for it, the report said.

A settlement last year will lead to a redesign of Kazaa, which is no longer owned by Friis and Zennstrom.

No copyright troubles are envisioned with Joost, which has gone the mainstream route by signing deals with major content providers, including its new investors, the report further said.