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
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (2) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Carolina Town Becomes First US 10-Gig City
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/3/2015
Eurobites: Anite in OSS Tie-Up With Nokia
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/4/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.