British media company Sky just disclosed an investment of $4.5 million (€4 million) in French startup Molotov. From what we’ve heard and according to Sky’s statement, this is just a fraction of a bigger round that is going to be announced at a later date.
“This investment is part of a larger Molotov financing round,” the release says. The reason why Sky is announcing this investment today is that Sky is a public company. It needs to disclose to its investors this kind of investments. It looks like Molotov doesn’t want to talk about this mysterious bigger round just yet.
Interestingly, Sky doesn’t operate in France. By investing in Molotov, Sky is betting on a startup to start entering the French market. The company has also invested in iFlix, an Asia-based Netflix rival.
If you don’t live in France, chances are you don’t know Molotov yet. Molotov is a TV streaming service that tries to reinvent the way you watch and consume TV content.
Molotov has signed deals with all major TV channels so that you can sign up to a Molotov account and access a ton of content. You can watch live TV like on a traditional cable box. If you’ve missed the beginning of a movie, you can start playing from the beginning. You can also play content that has already aired.
And finally, you can bookmark movies, documentaries, shows and store them in the cloud — this feature is disabled for now as it’s not yet officially legal to use someone else’s servers as a next generation VHS recorder. Molotov uses a freemium model. Basic accounts are free, you can then subscribe to options to access more channels and features.
The result is a seamless experience that works across all your device. You can start watching something on your iPhone and continue on your Apple TV once you’re home. This experience will feel familiar if you’ve been using Spotify. But it’s something new for TV in France.