European pay-TV operator Sky has taken a US$4.5 million (€4 million) stake in French streaming service Molotov.tv.
The platform distributes free and pay-TV channels via a “freemium” model. It was founded in 2014 by AlloCiné founder Jean-David Blanc, Canal+ founder and Cannes Film Festival president Pierre Lescure and former TF1 Group exec Jean-Marc Denoual.
Molotov launched in France in July with a free service available via computers, mobile devices and connected TV. It offers 35 channels, including TF1, France Télévisions, M6, Canal+ and the 26 channels on French digital television service TNT.
The deal is part of a larger round of financing in the company and the latest in a series of investments by Sky in start-up companies.
Last month, the Rupert Murdoch-owned company invested in The RightsXchange, a global online-deal-making tool for TV rights. It has also backed mobile sports marketing company InCrowd and put $45 million into Southeast Asian Netflix rival iFlix.