Light Reading

Boxfish Snatches the Bait

Mari Silbey

Boxfish, the video data startup company out of Palo Alto, Calif., has raised $7 million in a Series B funding round to continue its expansion beyond second-screen apps and into data discovery and audience targeting for the main-screen TV.

As first reported by GigaOM, Atlantic Bridge led the latest funding round for Boxfish. Samsung Corp. and existing investors T-Ventures and Naya Ventures also participated. Since its founding in 2010, Boxfish has now raised more than $10 million in total.

The Boxfish technology captures and analyzes every word spoken on 1,000 television channels in real time. Initially, the company used the data to build second-screen TV guide apps with highly detailed show information for better video discovery. However, Boxfish has also worked on an API, which it is using to extend its platform to consumer electronics and TV service provider customers.

There is no shortage of competitors in the TV discovery and recommendation engine business. Companies such as ThinkAnalytics Ltd. and Jinni Media Ltd. have already racked up some impressive customer wins, while Rovi Corp. and Tribune Media Services Inc. (TMS) still largely own the traditional TV metadata market. (See ThinkAnalytics Thinks Hollywood and Jinni Powers Comcast X2 Recommendations.)

Boxfish, however, is planning to move further into the advanced advertising arena in addition to guide-based discovery and recommendation. The company wants to help service providers track viewing behavior through digital video recorders and use that information to better target ads to individual consumers.

Boxfish says that more than 100 companies are currently using its API, and it counts AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), and TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) among its customers. Samsung is also using Boxfish to support some of the new features in its latest smart TV models. With the new funding round, Boxfish is looking to hire more talent and expand further beyond the US market.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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User Rank: Blogger
3/18/2014 | 9:10:46 PM
Re: Crowded
What kinds of improvements would you like to see? Where are they falling short right now? 
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/18/2014 | 8:12:19 PM
Re: Programming
@danielcawrey I kicked the TV habit years ago, and I am always surprised by how insipid the offerings are when stuck in the dentist's waiting room with the large TV. For those occasions, I carry a book along, and I have even gone so far as turning off the TV when my kids were with me b/c the show on was rated for older audiences. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2014 | 5:44:12 PM
No doubt this is a crowded space to be in, that being said though there is a lot of improvment to be made seeing what other companies are offering right now. Just my take on the second screen space. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2014 | 4:07:40 PM
Do they focus on the spoken word but not the image.  This is interesting, because, up until very recently, much of TV ends up being radio with associated images.   It's rare that you have to fixate on the screen to understand the plot.  Unless they are using some kind of imaging technology to scan the video as well.


User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2014 | 1:25:28 PM
Television discovery is going to become important for the industry's survival. How many times have you scrolled through that ridiculous digital grid only to find nothing of interest? Hundreds of channels and nothing's on?

It's because TV still operates on the premise that if it delivers something to the customer, it knows what that customer wants. That's not reallly true now with all of the digital options. 
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