Internet TV startup Joost raised $45 million in a venture round of financing, the company will announce this evening. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures, CBS Corporation, Viacom and Chinese billionaire Li Ka-shing.
The company has not previously disclosed any financings. Joost was started by Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström in 2006; presumably seed funding came directly from them.
Viacom and CBS have also signed content deals with Joost, so this looks like it will be their main online TV play. News Corp./NBC Universal formed an online TV joint venture earlier this year, which is still unnamed and has earned the nickname “Clown Co.”
Sequoia was also the venture backer of YouTube, which is indirectly a competitor.
Joost is currently in private beta and is rumored to be launching within days.