Light Reading

Jinni Locks In Its A Round

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/15/2009
50%
50%

Execs with Jinni Media Ltd. , the startup that's developed technology that helps consumers make video selections based on their moods, are in a pretty decent mood themselves now that the company has closed its A Round of funding.

At $1.6 million, the round isn't huge by typical A-Round standards for tech firms, but the Israel-based company thinks it's plenty big enough to kickstart a go-to-market strategy that counts cable MSOs, satellite TV providers, telcos, and over-the-top video providers among its targets.

DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures, a venture capital firm with offices in Menlo Park, Calif., and Tel Aviv, led the round. Jinni, founded in early 2007, has been operating on an undisclosed amount of angel funding and development grants.

The new cash will fund Jinni's expansion and provide the resources it thinks it will need to chase after deals for its mood-based video search and recommendation technology, according to Jinni CEO Michael Pohl, a cable industry exec late of C-COR Inc. and video-on-demand (VoD) pioneer nCube Inc., which are now both part of Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS). (See Jinni Names CEO.)

In the mood for movies

Jinni, which competes with the likes of ChoiceStream, has a broad set of business models in mind. The first involves its own Website, which consumers can use to manage their Netflix accounts and find titles that should suit their moods. Jinni envisions offering fee-based services there, coupled with an ad model.

On the commercial front, it hopes to partner with the likes of Best Buy and Blockbuster Inc. to Jinni-enable their over-the-top video services. Another option: putting Jinni's app inside DVD kiosks such as those operated by Redbox.

However, nearer-term, it's going after deals that would pair its technology with the VoD and linear video programming offered via the Web and at the set-top from cable MSOs, telcos, and satellite TV operators. That would all be offered under a licensing model.

Pohl thinks Jinni's coming into frame just as MSOs and others continue to beef up their VoD libraries and seek out special tools that can help customers sort through and find what they're looking for amid thousands of choices based on their specific moods or tastes.

Initially, Pohl sees Jinni getting its early traction with operator-managed broadband video offerings, rather than seeing its application ported directly to the much harder to penetrate set-top box environment. "We could build an EBIF app tomorrow," Pohl adds, referring to the Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF), an interactive platform that can be applied to cable's entire universe of digital set-tops.

However, operators such as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), have already been talking about cross-platform applications that would allow customers to create playlists on the Web and have those lists transferred to the set-top. (See Comcast's 'Xfinity' to Go Mobile in 2010 and Comcast's 'Xfinity' Goes Live .)

But all that remains in the discussion stage with operators, as they vet out their next video navigation tech strategies. In the meantime, Jinni has already sealed up integration deals and partnerships with cable, telco, and satellite TV vendors such as SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC), NDS Ltd. , and OpenTV Corp. (Nasdaq: OPTV). (See Jinni Partners With NDS, SeaChange, Jinni Team on VoD Search, and OpenTV, Jinni Team on Search.)

"We are pre-revenue at this point," Pohl says. "But that will change very quickly. Next year is a defining year for the company," he said.

As for Jinni's secret sauce, tastes and preferences are developed as consumers rank TV shows and movies, with those rankings then applied to new "semantic tags" created by Jinni. From there, the system uses special techniques and algorithms to determine a "tag cloud" and "entertainment personality" for each user, says Jinni founder and president Yosi Glick.

And for the Sybils out there, users can create up to five different entertainment personalities, taking into account that moods do change from time to time. [Ed. note: But not us. We're always as happy as freakin' clams!]

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
Cats with Phones