11.29.06: BitTorrent snags $25m, founder Cohen is out as CEO
Om Malik reports that BitTorrent has raised $15 to $25 million in venture funding. But that big investment comes at a cost: Founder Bram Cohen is on his way out as CEO. Following up on Om's lead, Michael Arrington pegs the number at $25 million from Accel Partners and Doll Capital Management. And says Arrington:
CEO Bram Cohen, who created the BitTorrent protocol, is definitely on his way out. The company has retained the well known headhunting firm Heidrick & Struggles to find a replacement as soon as possible. No word on what, if any, role Cohen will have going forward.
At ValleyWag, Nick Denton notes he received a comment from an anonymous VC investor: "I don't understand any 'platform for rent' business models these days. I think investors are paying up for brands like bittorrent and brightcove without digging into the business fundamentals."
BT has cut deals with major TV and Hollywood players to sell movies and shows for $1 a download. That would way undercut the prices Apple was able to get. But as Om notes:
BitTorrent has not yet launched its long-awaited video store. Perhaps this latest funding will boost the company’s e-commerce rollout. BitTorrent spent some of the year announcing truces and partnerships5 with Hollywood, but it has been quiet lately.