Turner Joins Tegna in Backing Vizbee

Vizbee, a startup focused on cross-platform casting and data, said it has received strategic investments from both Turner and Tegna.

Vizbee didn’t disclose the amount of those investments nor the amount of its latest round of funding, which also included participating from existing investors Core Capital, Armory Square Ventures, Kinetic Ventures and NEA. An SEC filing from December 2017 from Vizbee shows a total offering amount of $5 million, with $3.59 million of that amount sold at the time of the filing.

Tegna made note of its investment in Vizbee earlier this week when it announced it had acquired a piece of TubiTV, a company that runs a free, ad-supported VOD service.

RELATED: Tegna Makes Strategic Investment in Tubi TV

Turner, meanwhile, noted that it's been using Vizbee’s technology in its TBS and TNT apps during a digital upgrade undertaken in May 2017. That upgrade enables users of those apps to cast content from their mobile phones to connected TVs without the need for a plug-in. Turner said it now allows casting of TBS and TNT programming via Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Samsung smart TVs.

RELATED: TBS, TNT Add App Upgrades, Expand Device Support

That ease of use “drove greater interest in application downloads,” as Turner also saw a 30% month-over-month gain in the number of “casts” between June and October 2017, accumulating 1.7 million casts during that period.

Epix is also using Vizbee’s technology to power an “Epix Cast” feature introduced last year.

"As we continue to shape the future of television, Vizbee's focus on fan engagement as well as data and advertising will help us grow our OTT efforts from both a business and technology standpoint," Jeremy Legg, Turner’s CTO, said in a statement.

Tegna believes that Vizbee’s technology will provide a boost for Premion, its local ad network for OTT content.

Vizbee said it combines “universal casting” with a household device data graph to enable content owners to segment the best prospective OTT viewers and reach them through mobile marketing channels via “tap-to-TV” campaigns.

Vizbee was founded by Darren Feher (Former CEO, Conviva; and CTO, NBCU) and Prashanth Pappu (former SVP product marketing, Unicorn Media; and head of products, Conviva).