Molotov activates the cloud DVR feature and raises $23.3 million

French startup Molotov launched five months ago, but a key feature had yet to go live. Molotov users can now bookmark TV shows and movies in the cloud so that they can watch them later. That’s not all, the startup has also raised $23.3 million (€22 million).

I’ve already written quite a few words about Molotov, but it’s worth reiterating that it’s the best way to watch TV in 2016. In fact, it has been the killer app for my Apple TV.

While the service is only available in France and is certainly catching the attention of our French readers, it’s worth paying attention to Molotov in general. I can see other startups and broadcasting companies replicating the same kind of service for their own market. It has been named app of the year in the French App Store and nominated as one of the best apps of the year in the French Play Store.

Molotov lets you watch live TV, go back in time to the beginning of a show, catch up on past episodes a few days after they first aired in a single, unified interface.

But what if you want to save something and watch it in six months? This was quite easy when we all had VHS recorders, but it has become a bit harder now that we watch TV on a phone or a computer. With Molotov, you can bookmark something and save it in the cloud. It took a few months to make sure that the startup wouldn’t get into any legal trouble, the feature is finally live. You can then stream this episode from all your devices — all you need is your login and password.

Some networks have refused the bookmarking feature, such as Canal+ (C8, CStar, I-Télé…) NextRadioTV (BFM TV…) and Arte. Other networks don’t let you start a live show from the beginning, such as TF1 (TF1, TMC…). It’s clear that Molotov is moving a bit too fast for the TV industry.

Content providers still think that they can make their own solution on their own and get a ton of viewers this way. But the great thing about Molotov is that you don’t have to download 12 different apps and remember which network aired what. You can simply search for content across all French channels.

The startup also raised $23.3 million from its existing investor Idinvest, new unknown investors and business angels, Sky (as previously announced) and TDF.

Molotov is now available on the iPhone, the iPad, Android devices, masOS, Windows and Linux, recent LG and Samsung TVs. It also supports Chromecast. The basic service is free. You can get more channels and/or cloud storage space by subscribing to premium options.