Welcome back to Baby Breakerdom! This week's quest to find budding Rule Breakers makes me wonder whether the traditional family room -- home of TV time -- is in jeopardy.
Blame Sling Media, a Silicon Valley start-up that, frankly, has me salivating. You see, the company's product, the Sling Box, connects a TV with a broadband network, allowing television to be broadcast to a variety of other Internet-connected devices, including laptops and smartphones. And that includes programming stored on a TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO ) or similar device.
I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) , for example, has been toying with the idea of bringing TV to its phones for some time now. And recent deals involving Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) and major content producers have enabled thousands of shows and music videos to make their way to legions of video iPods. But I see neither of these approaches dampening enthusiasm for the Sling Box. It just makes too much sense.
Some very high-profile investors agree. According to VentureWire, Sling Media recently closed a B round of $46.6 million in financing from new investors Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) , Liberty Media (NYSE: L ) , and EchoStar Communications (Nasdaq: DISH ) . Also participating were existing investors Mobius Venture Capital, DCM-Doll Capital Management, and Hearst Corp.
Next we tune into RadioFrame Networks, a wireless networking equipment maker whose devices reportedly increase cellular coverage in congested indoor areas. If that doesn't sound very Rule Breaking, consider two things. First, there are more than 200 million wireless subscribers in the U.S., according to VentureWire. Second, more data than ever is going over mobile networks. (See above.)
Indeed, the infrastructure to support mobile music, video, and game downloads -- and plain vanilla Web access, for that matter -- needs constant care and feeding. RadioFrame's equipment may help. At least, some pretty impressive investors seem to think so. Among them: Craig McCaw, whose former company, McCaw Cellular, was the originator of cell service in the U.S. His newest firm, COM Investments, teamed with Ignition Partners, Innovacom Venture Capital, VantagePoint Venture Partners, Nextel Data Investments, and the venture arm of Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY ) to provide $40.8 million in new funding to RadioFrame. Does anyone else think more investments like this will be coming soon?
Sadly, there were no Baby Breaker public offerings this week, which means it's time to say good-bye. See you back here next Friday, when we continue the quest to find the next ultimate growth stock.
For more Rule Breaking Foolishness:
TiVo is aMotley Fool Stock Advisorselection.
Netflix. Marvel. AOL. Starbucks. Find out how David Gardner landed these and other multibaggers by taking arisk-free trialto Motley Fool Rule Breakers today. You'll also learn why our analysts are smashing the market by more than 20% as of this writing. Or simplysign upnow and receiveStocks 2006, which features our analysts' best picks for the year ahead, free. All you have to lose is the prospect ofbetter returns.
Fool contributorTim Beyerswould so dig being able to watch The Daily Show on his trip to Virginia next week. Care to help him out, Sling Media? Tim owns shares of Nokia. You can find out what else is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Foolprofile. The Motley Fool has an ironcladdisclosure policy.