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Social TV Startup Flingo Banks $7M In VC Funding

Flingo, a social-TV and automatic content recognition startup whose clients include A&E Television Networks, raised $7 million in series A funding from August Capital.

Flingo's SyncApps technology is designed to automatically recognize content on TV -- in less than three seconds -- and then deliver related content or advertising directly on a viewer's TV, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The system also will allow viewers to share what they're watching on Twitter and Facebook with one click.

The Flingo SyncApps system will soon be activated on A&E Television Networks' History and A&E channels, according to the startup. Other media partners, which use Flingo's original Smart TV App to deliver content to connected-TV devices, include Fox, Showtime Networks, Warner Bros. and TMZ.

The Flingo technology is currently available on 7.8 million smart TVs and other connected-TV devices, via partnerships with manufacturers including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Vizio, Sanyo, Insignia, Western Digital and Netgear.

The San Francisco-based company said it will use the funding to expand Flingo's device footprint as well as its automatic-content recognition infrastructure, which it claims can ID "thousands" of broadcast network programs around the world in real-time.

"Flingo has the potential to build a very large business enabling new experiences around broadcast television," August Capital co-founder David Marquardt said in a statement. "The company already has gained strong traction with the top names in TV programming, consumer electronics, and digital media. We're excited to be a part of the team."

With the funding, Marquardt -- a 30-year board member of Microsoft -- and Howard Hartenbaum, a founding investor in Skype, will join Flingo's board of directors.

August Capital is Flingo's sole investor. The startup, founded in 2008, currently has fewer than 20 employees. Its official corporate name is Free Stream Media Corp., but it does business as Flingo.

"Our new investors share our vision that Smart TVs represent a unique way to improve the TV viewing experience and an opportunity to unlock new sources of growth in the $60 billion TV advertising business. August Capital's involvement brings experience, relationships and resources to us, and we are honored to have David and Howard involved with our company," Flingo CEO and co-founder Ashwin Navin said in a prepared statement.