SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cognitive Networks, the market-leading provider of Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) for Smart TVs, today announced the completion of a $14.5 million Series B financing round. The round brings three new investors into the company: Hearst Ventures and two undisclosed strategic partners that provide an exceptional foundation to drive dramatic growth. Existing investors Rogers Venture Partners and DCM Ventures also participated in the financing.
The funds will support continued expansion of Cognitive’s proprietary ACR platform, which recognizes content displaying on Smart TVs in real time and provides Smart TVs with the capability to deliver an integrated, enhanced TV experience. Viewers are able to see contextually-relevant content running in synchronization with related television programming.
Cognitive’s ACR also powers a massive big-data platform that powers a diversity of TV data applications for media buying, selling, measurement and targeting. As audience-based targeting and programmatic buying are creating a more sophisticated TV advertising environment, both programmers and advertisers will benefit from Cognitive’s ability to enable targeting and customization of both advertising and content.
"This latest round of financing will fuel continued enhancements of our ACR platform to meet the scaling and performance expectations of our customers while we continue to increase our lead over our competitors,” said Michael Collette, CEO of Cognitive Networks. “Content recognition transforms television, enabling more engaging, targeted and relevant TV. It also produces vast, detailed, real time data that can be used to measure, target and optimize TV advertising and content in powerful new ways. These virtues provide benefits to the entire TV ecosystem and are particularly valuable to our TV OEM partners. We’re honored to have the support from a broad base of Tier 1 investors and partners.”
Earlier this year, Cognitive Networks was selected as a 2014 Red Herring Top 100 North America winner. Cognitive Networks was also selected as one of the top 10 startups by SPROCKIT, an innovation program working in partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters.
“Cognitive Networks has successfully brought together the leading TV manufacturers with the country’s most innovative media companies around a single technology platform to give consumers enhanced television viewing experiences,” said Ken Bronfin, senior managing director of Hearst Ventures. “In addition, this platform creates an enormous business opportunity for media buyers and sellers by providing real time viewership measurement on a scale significantly beyond what is available today.”
“ACR has the potential to enable massive advancements in increased relevance and personalization of content and advertising on TV,” said Jason Krikorian, General Partner at DCM Ventures. “This is best realized through the emergence of a standardized platform, and several recent wins have put Cognitive squarely in a position to provide this for the TV ecosystem.”
Cognitive Networks will display and demo their groundbreaking technology at the International CES, January 6-9 from Booth #15126a in the Las Vegas Convention Center Central Hall. The company will also exhibit at CES Unveiled on Sunday, January 4 from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.
For additional information, please visit www.CognitiveNetworks.com.
About Cognitive Networks
Cognitive Networks is the leading provider of real-time services powered by Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology, enabling the fundamental transformation of the way viewers consume TV while delivering a platform for content producers and TV networks to increase customer engagement, grow their audiences, and increase the value of the TV viewing experience for all audiences.
The company’s ENGAGE™ API allows Smart TVs to launch applications that are intelligently synchronized with live or time-shifted television, enabling ecosystem partners to add Enhanced TV capabilities to broadcast TV displaying on Smart TVs. With Cognitive Networks’ Engage, content providers can now provide consumers with fun, smart things to do while watching TV on their Smart TVs.