As TV expands beyond the living room, investors seem to be eyeing firms (many startups) that offer new second screen services. Last week we told you about Shazam, which got a $40mln investment from Latin America mobile carrier American Movil to help expand its software-based services beyond music and into the TV space.
Now the company has scored a partnership with global ad agency Y&R to accelerate the second screen activation of advertising. As part of the deal, Y&R will work with Shazam’s advertising team to offer the agency’s clients the Shazam for TV platform, which allows the companies to determine consumer interest in Shazam-enabled advertisements.
Meanwhile, IPTV startup Tivli closed a $6.3mln funding round that includes investments from high-profile investors like HBO and Mark Cuban’s Radical Investment. The company, which offers IP-based TV services to university students on their personal devices, will use the money for expansion and other “operational and strategic initiatives,” it said. The startup was incubated by Harvard Student Agencies, the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, Summer at Highland, Fresh Pond Partners, and the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab). It will roll out integration with TVE and on-demand products like HBO Go.
Just last month, Watchwith, a startup that provides sync-to-broadcast service to second screen platforms, got a major boost with a new $5 million in funding by Rogers Ventures, Arris and Gracenote. The company enables broadcasters to offer trivia questions and other information relevant to the program currently being viewed, via mobile devices or the TV screen.
But perhaps the biggest surprise came from Hulu: Its investors, including Disney, NBCU and 21st Century Fox, decided not to put the streaming service provider on sale, after receiving bids from several potential suitors. The investors are also providing $750 million in cash to fund future growth. It’s a good time to be in the TV technology biz.