Since more and more people are watching TV with their mobile phones and tablets in hand, brands and advertisers are increasingly faced with a big problem: How do you reach audiences that are turning to these second-screen devices whenever a commercial break comes on? To solve that problem, former Demand Media CTO Sean Muller founded iSpot.tv seven months ago, hoping to provide an elegant and mobile-first solution for reaching those audiences.
The company is still in stealth mode, so without giving too much away, Muller said the company was trying to find out how to connect TV campaigns to social media. But he did say that the startup has built is a a platform for brands to engage with audiences both on the TV and on social networks.
A number of Demand Media alums have put money into the startup, including Muller and Paul Stahura, who was founder and CEO of eNom before selling to Demand Media and becoming its president and COO. Stahura, who recently raised $100 million for new gTLDs as the founder and CEO of Donuts.com, also sits on the iSpot.tv board. The round also included participation from Pagewise co-founder David Hehman, as well as Hillclimb Media founders Doug Colbeck and Bryce Stevens, who also sold their companies to Demand Media. Howard Love, founder of LoveToKnow, and Fred Hsu, founder of Oversee.net, also invested, along with a few other angels.
It’s still early days for iSpot.tv. The company has five full-time employees in Seattle, and it expects initial trials to begin within the next month or two in the local TV market. Once those trials are done, it’s planning to raise additional funding to make the technology available to marketers in other areas.