Disruptel, a company with technology that lets viewers interact with content via their remote control, said it raised $1.5 million to further develop and scale its products.
The seed funding round was led by PJC and Progress Ventures, with the backing of investors and advisors including Mike Baker and Bill Simmons, co-founders of DataXu; Adam Cheyer, co-founder of Siri; and Andrew Olson, who helped develop Xfinity TV.
Disrputel’s key product is Context, which allows users to ask questions about the content on their connected TVs through their remote and receive answers without the need for a second device. Disruptel’s products operate in real-time without the need to pre-process content, facilitating improved targeting of advertisements and seamless purchasing of on-screen products.
“I created Disruptel to make the TV viewing experience better for me and for my friends,” said Alex Quinn, CEO of Disruptel. “Like most Gen Z viewers, I think smart TVs are not as smart as they should be. We were never given the truly smart and interactive TV we were promised, so we are creating it ourselves. Our products improve the viewing experience while also creating new revenue streams for our content partners through non-intrusive advertising.”
With connected TV blowing up, technology like Disruptel’s can help better monetize content, said Nick MacShane, senior managing director of Progress Ventures.
“As ad-supported streaming services like Hulu have shown, the TV industry must innovate the ad experience to scale audience and ARPU," said MacShane. "Disruptel’s solutions will enable FAST/AVOD programmers and platforms to grow ARPU while minimizing the viewer interruptions that come with traditional TV ads that also drive churn. Viewers can discover similar content of interest, presenting the opportunity for programmers to upsell audiences to paid VOD and increase overall viewing time.”
Based in St. Louis, Disruptel's technology relies on artificial intelligence to process video in real time.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.