Verismo, a provider of web-enabled TV services, announced today that it has raised $17 million in its most recent round of fundraising led by Intel Capital.
The company plans to use the funding to help market and expand the install base for its set-top box that streams Internet content to televisions. The content — which includes shows, websites and widgets — is packaged on Verismo’s side and delivered through the Internet to the set-top box.
Verismo allows content providers like cable providers and ISPs to stream traditional channels alongside web-enabled services like voice-over-Internet programs and social networking applications. That includes Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. The device can be connected physically with a broadband cable or wirelessly to a router. It can connect to a TV via HDMI or other typical cables and to computers running Windows (sorry, Mac users).
Verismo is in a long line of other companies looking to take over the Web-enabled television space. Roku, which already has the jump on Verismo in terms of content delivery like Netflix, announced recently that it will stream Hulu Plus to televisions through its Roku set-top box. Boxee, another set-top box that delivers web services to televisions, also announced recently that it will stream Netflix and Hulu Plus and ship soon.
The issue those companies now face are the titans that have entered the market. Apple recently revamped its Apple TV set-top that sells for $99 and can connect to a number of online services. Apple TV also offers movie and TV show rentals. Google also announced Google TV, which is powered by its Android mobile operating system and also delivers web-enabled services, earlier this year. On top of having the jump in terms of an operating system on the Internet TV set-top, Apple and Google have massive brand names behind them.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company was a darling at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2009 and caught the eye of Dean Takahashi when he had a chance to chat with its executive vice president on a plane right. The company didn’t disclose how much money it has raised to date.