TV Recommendation Engine Gets $8 Million Recommendation

Web TV makes money BeeTV, a Milan, Italy-based TV recommendation engine, has raised $8 million in Series B funding from Italian VC firm Innogest.

Founded in 2006 by an experienced team of technology and media experts, beeTV is an algorithm-based personal TV suggestion engine that determines what a consumer should be watching at any given moment based on their personal profile.

Its "Personal Content Channel," so-called, identifies a subscriber's profile, and then searches all available content sources -- including broadcast TV, subscription TV, VOD, SVOD, PPV, and PVR/Catch-up -- to deliver the ideal content to that particular subscriber.

The startup plans to invest the new funding in sales, as well as further expansion into U.S. and Far Eastern markets.

"Now we have the means to push [our product] to the next level," said Rodolfo Hecht, chairman of beeTV.

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The white-label product has been designed to serve TV, mobile and PC platforms, while providers have the option to integrate all three screens, or choose a combination that fits their own marketing and distribution needs.

Various forms of content recommendation technology have emerged to help consumer navigate an increasingly complex and congested media landscape. A number of Web video aggregators -- including blinkx, AOL's Truveo, OVGuide, and Invision TV -- attempt to help consumers organize and search for content. Also, Veoh Networks, the much ballyhooed Web TV and video syndication startup backed by Michael Eisner, has been pushing its recommendation technology since 2007.

For Innogest, which manages a modest $120 million, the deal represents the "single largest investment our firm has ever made," according to its CEO Marco Pinciroli.

BeeTV's flagship product beeSTBox is designed for multicast distribution platforms including cable, satellite and IPTV.

A product named beeWeb, meanwhile, is designed to manage, control and share one's online TV experience.

The company is in the process of bringing its platform to mobile devices for always-on connectivity and mobile set-top box interaction.

BeeTV is just now finalizing its latest version, and is reportedly in discussions with various TV providers regarding further product trials.

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