Azureus Lands $12M VC Round

By Richard Menta 12/6/06

A day after BitTorrent grabbed $20 million in financing, open-source BitTorrent client Azureus reeled in $12 million for its second finance round. Named after the poisonous tree frog that serves as the company logo, founder Gilles Bian Rosa announced back in July he planned to build a commercial company around the three year old application, among the most popular BitTorrent clients. The financing round was led by Redpoint Ventures. Other investors include Greycroft Partners, CNET Chaiman Jarl Mohn, and BV Capital who seeded the company's initial round this past summer. Rosa serves as CEO of the company, which is headquartered in Redwood City, CA.

Before Bram Cohen convinced Hollywood that he would work his BitTorrent technology to their favor, venture capital steered clear of peer-to-peer technology as they proved to be a magnet for litigation. Now that this technology has Hollywood's blessing (for now) the VCs are going after those BitTorrent clients who can best compete with Cohen's company for what they hope will be a piece of a very lucrative Net distribution business.

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The Azureus team is already making some dramatic moves. Flushed with the new funds, Azureus also announced its YouTube competitor. Dubbed Zudeo and powered by the same underlying technology, the new service will focus on high definition video. The Zudeo site promises no limitations in duration or file size, hoping to draw both the serious amateur and professional YouTube content segment. "Try watching a YouTube video in full-screen mode," said Rosa. "You can't make out the details of what's going on. We've changed all that."

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