Beringea Invests in Detroit Area Internet Player Startup Livio Radio

6/14/10

Jake Sigal unceremoniously bootstrapped his company out of his guest bedroom in my hometown of Ferndale, MI, about 2 1/2 years ago—tinkering around with the idea of a stand-alone Internet radio. Today, Sigal’s company, Livio Radio, is the recipient of an investment from Beringea, one of Michigan’s largest venture capital firms.

I spoke with Sigal this morning just after the news of the investment came out. Turns out, the house he launched his company in was just a few doors down from where I rented my first place in Ferndale eight years ago. I congratulated him on helping my hometown, and he congratulated me for actually being a working journalist in Ferndale—something that is, unfortunately, getting more rare these days.

Anyway, I’ll write more about Sigal and his company in the future. But, for now, here’s how he describes his product.

“In general, our products are aimed at making Internet Radio accessible,” Sigal says. “So, in addition to Pandora and NPR, we also provide access to over 16,000 live Internet radio stations and, in fact, over 44,000 Internet radio streams.” That includes podcasts and pretty much anything else you can tune in on the Internet.

Neither he nor Beringea will say how much the investment was, but he said it will be used for working capital and to add some new people. He hinted that another announcement will come in the next couple of weeks regarding a device that can play all your favorite podcasts and Internet stations in your car.

That would put Sigal more in direct competition with his old employers at Delphi, where he was project manager for XM Satellite Radio (now merged with Sirius). The future of radio is online, Sigal says, and he is convinced that this investment in his startup helps prove it.

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