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beeTV Raises US$8 Million in Series B Funding From Innogest, Italy's Largest Venture Capital Firm
– beeTV to Invest in Sales and Expand its Penetration in U.S. and Far East Markets
MILAN, June 3 beeTV, the pioneers and inventors of the PCC(TM) (Personal Content Channel(TM)) today announced the completion of a Series B Fund acquisition of $8 million U.S. dollars. The funding was led by Innogest, the largest venture capital firm operating in Italy. beeTV targets to become the default entry system for television viewers into their world of TV entertainment. Additionally, beeTV plans to invest in sales and expand its penetration into the U.S. and Far East markets.
“This is the single largest investment our firm has ever made,” said Marco Pinciroli, Innogest CEO. “This fact alone shows how much we believe in beeTV, with the concept, its management, and its business strategy.”
“We already knew we had the most innovative product on the market. Now we have the means to push it to the next level,” commented Rodolfo Hecht, beeTV’s Chairman. “We are proud of being one of the few companies that is able to announce a major VC deal in today’s frozen market.”
“Innogest has been tremendously supportive of beeTV. Their investment shows their commitment to the company’s vision and their belief that this is an exceptional market opportunity, especially in these challenging times,” added Yoram Granit, beeTV’s CEO and Co-Founder.
beeTV offers the platform operator’s subscribers their own Personal Content Channel (PCC), which resides in their set top box (whether IPTV, cable, satellite, mobile or DTT), their mobile phones and their PC. This unique Personal Content Channel identifies the subscriber, searches all the content sources, including broadcast TV, subscription TV, VOD, SVOD, PPV, and PVR/Catch-up and pushes the relevant content to that subscriber.
By using a revolutionary, proprietary, contextual matching algorithm, the PCC pushes relevant content through an entertaining, personalized “channel”, while automatically anticipating viewer needs and desires, taking into account context, schedule, behavior, and even mood of the viewer.
The white labeled PCC is designed to serve three screens: TV, mobile and PC. Providers have the option to integrate all three screen PCC’s or choose a combination that fits their own marketing and distribution needs. In this way, beeTV delivers a powerful and modular solution that widens the reach of the operator’s brand and creates valuable conversions in today’s “on-the-go” devices.
Founded in 2006 by leading media and technology veterans Rodolfo Hecht (Chairman), Yoram Granit (CEO) and Yaniv Solnik (CTO), beeTV has been working vigorously on developing an answer to the “paradox of choice” question in today’s TV arena. The paradox is that a bewildering array of viewing choices restricts us instead of improving the quality of our entertainment. Subscribers are frustrated by the necessity to sift through the vast amount of content available on their platform in order to choose what they ultimately would like to watch. Add to that the fact that preferences are changing depending on the time of the day, context, and personal mood of the subscriber, and the challenge becomes even more complex. Current solutions such as channel surfing and electronic program guides (EPGs) do not satisfy subscribers as the choices are presented in an inherently bland, impersonal and time-consuming manner. The company launched the beeSTBox product at the DEMOfall 08 conference in San Diego, as well as beeWEB and beeMOBILE in March 2009. The algorithm team is led by the well-regarded Gavin Potter – the recommendation guru (“Just a guy in a garage”). beeTV can be contacted at http://www.bee.tv
Innogest is the leading Venture Capital firm in Italy founded by the Managing Partners Marco Pinciroli (previously with BC Partners) and Claudio Giuliano (previously with The Carlyle Group). With US$120 million under management, offices in Milan, Padua and Torino, Innogest is the investor of choice of Italian entrepreneurs with global ambitions. The fund is managed by an independent management team composed by qualified professionals with deep experience in Private Equity and Venture Capital, Consulting and Industry. Erik Lumer, a serial entrepreneur, founder of both Bubblegum and Graphvine, will join the beeTV board on behalf of Innogest. Paolo Burlando will join the Statutory Audit Committee as Chairman. More information can be found at http://www.innogest.it
Note: beeTV and it shareholders have been legally advised by TLS- Associazione Professionale di Avvocati e Commercialisti (member firm of PWC network) and Adv. Ronen Wiseman from Zehavi – Wiseman law firm in Tel Aviv. Innogest has been legally advised by Studio BZDL, led by Adv. Claudia Burlando.