Philo (formerly Tivli) is an internet television company currently based in San Francisco, California. The service first launched at Harvard University in 2009. Investors in the company include HBO, Facebook co-founder Andrew McCollum, and Mark Cuban. As of January 2018[update], the service has approximately 50,000 subscribers.
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Key people||Andrew McCollum (CEO)|
|Services||OTT Internet TV MVPD|
Philo plans to integrate a social platform that connects viewers with friends and family to discover new content, share favorite shows, and watch shows together.
Tivli, Philo's original name, was founded in 2009 by then Harvard seniors Nicholas Krasney and Tuan Ho. It began as an experiment using aluminium foil as a makeshift satellite dish in order to "pick up TV signals and deliver them wirelessly to their laptops via a jerry-rigged server". At its launch, the project was intended to be a way to circumvent the fact that Harvard did not provide cable TV service for its students. When the service was made available to others in 2011, half of the Harvard resident population registered for it within the first few weeks of the offer.
In 2009, Tivli first incubated in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Harvard Innovation Lab (iLab) before moving to Harvard Square in 2013. After securing their Series B round, Philo moved again in 2015 to San Francisco, California.
In July 2013, the venture raised a $6.3 million round led by Patrick Chung at venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. Among the Series A investors, were Mark Cuban from Radical Investments LP, HBO, and Rho Ventures. The same year the company was rebranded as Philo, from its former name, Tivli.
In June 2015, Philo raised $10 million in a Series B round led by New Enterprise Associates, with joint investment from HBO, Rho Ventures, Xfund, CBC New Media Group, as well as Andrew McCollum. McCollum, a founding member of Facebook, became CEO of the company in 2014. As of September 2015, the service was available in 42 universities.
On November 14, 2017, Philo launched a new OTT streaming television service in the U.S. The service includes channels from programming groups that include A&E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery Inc. and Viacom, but not CBS Corporation, Fox Corporation, NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company or WarnerMedia, and therefore includes no sports. The service is available via TVs, computers, tablets, and phones. Those programming groups also became owners with a combine $25 million investment before this launch. This service does not have any of the major news channels as they are affiliated with sports channels which are the most expensive channels. Instead, the service offers BBC World News, which is distributed by AMC and the independent digital first financial news channel, Cheddar.
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