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Cognitive Networks Lands $14.5M

Cognitive Networks, a company that has developed a cloud-based automatic content recognition (ACR) platform for smart TVs, has locked in a $14.5 million “B” round as it looks to expand its footprint to 20 million “active” connected TVs in 2015. 

Cognitive Networks, a San Francisco-based company founded in 2008, said existing investors Rogers Venture Partners and DCM Ventures and three new investors (Hearst Ventures and two still-undisclosed strategic investors) joined the $14.5 million round. Cognitive, which also disclosed the new funding round in this SEC filing on November 20, has raised $21 million so far.

Cognitive said it will use the funds to support the expansion of its proprietary, HTML5-based ACR platform, called ENGAGE, which is used to trigger and deliver interactive elements, such as polls, quizzes and advertising, that sync up with TV programming.

Among some of Cognitive’s early activity, LG is using the company’s ACR platform in newer model smart TV models to support “SHO Sync,” an app from Showtime Networks that delivers interactive features that sync up with live, on-demand or DVR-recorded versions of original series. Cognitive has also customized a show-reminder app developed by Visible World for the National Geographic Channel.

In July, Cognitive announced that it had secured a patent for its “smart client” technology, which followed a patent it received last year for its core ACR technology.

Cognitive Networks said it will demo its technology at January’s International CES (booth 15126a at the Las Vegas Convention Center Central Hall), and will exhibit at CES Unveiled on Sunday, Jan. 4 from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.