& cplSiteName &

Jinni Locks In Its A Round

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

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
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
WiCipedia: Grace Hopper Promotes Diversity, Girl Scouts Code & How to Thrive
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 10/21/2016
Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
Telecom Italia Plots Digital 'Overlay,' Not Transformation
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/17/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.