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RealTime IT News

NPTV Gets Venture Capital Investment

French interactive television company NPTV has received 15 million francs from the Cita and Société Ginérale Asset Management (SGAM).

The company's next goal is to settle offices in London and Madrid as soon as the second quarter of next year.

"With these funds we will be able to open branches in foreign countries and thus export our products and our experience," said Etienne Grange, NPTV's CEO.

Once subsidiaries are established in Spain and the U.K., operations will be opened in other European countries which "seem to be more receptive to interactive television," Grange said. Major partnerships are also in the works.

"Interactive TV is just like the Internet used to be 2 years ago," he said. Grange expects the new capital to propel its status in a market with no apparent market leader.

NPTV transformed from a Web development company to an interactive TV ad and service business in 1997. Its first major move was to win a license to develop the Canal Plus group's MediaHighway platform in July 1998. NPTV says it has several new interactive services in the pipeline for release at the beginning of next year.

This investment follows last year's 2 million franc investment from Picardie Investissement. NPTV used that round of financing to buy hardware, particularly Sun workstations.