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Miniweb raises $32m to expand services

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Miniweb, the British interactive TV platform spun out of BSkyB, has announced $32 million in venture funding from US investors to take its product offerings international. The Funding comes from Meritage Funds in Denver, Colorado and DeGeorge Holdings III, Nevada.

Middlesex, UK-based Miniweb targets iTV advertisers who want to go beyond the walled garden offered by digital satellites red button, instead offering them TV Sites, more internet-like websites built using WTVHTML, on broadband-capable set-top boxes. Its a variant of HTML and so, the theory goes, wraps the cost of developing an iTV presence into existing web production budgets. 

Miniweb was created in 2006, when former BSkyB technical alliances director Ian Valentine left BSkyB's interactive unit and bought its SkyNet and SkyKeys services. Rebadged TV Key and Key-And-See, these Miniweb services let advertisers buy branded alphanumeric short codes that, when keyed in to a remote control, link the set-top box to a TV Site. The service is also offered to programme makers to offer interactive web services without forcing viewers to reach for their laptops. Miniweb claims that its service launched in Apri 2008 can now reach 8 million homes.