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Flingo, the largest publisher of Smart TV apps, announced today that it has received funding from entrepreneur Mark Cuban, founder of Broadcast.com, chairman of HDNet, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures. Cuban and Gary Lauder, managing director of Lauder Partners LLC, lead the additional investment to bring Flingo's Series A funding total to $8 million. In February, the company announced that August Capital led a $7 million Series A financing. Available on over 8.5 million screens, in 118 countries worldwide, Flingo's Smart TV software is the only technology that provides a social experience integrated with broadcast content both on the TV and second screens such as tablets, laptops and smartphones.
While many startups appear on ABC's reality TV show, Shark Tank, to seek an investment from Mark Cuban, the circumstances leading to the Flingo investment were no less exciting. He discovered Flingo at CES 2012 when he saw a crowd in the Flingo booth watching a demonstration of its SyncApps technology, which enables viewers to share what they're watching with friends and followers on social networks directly from the TV. Seeing SyncApps, and soon understanding the company's vision to enhance linear programming, Cuban and Flingo's CEO Ashwin Navin quickly determined a path for Cuban to invest. Unlike other Smart TV initiatives that attach a keyboard and mouse to the TV like a PC, Flingo treats broadcast TV as a platform. In regards to his decision to invest, Cuban said, "I'm excited to be part of the Flingo experience. I truly believe the future of TV is TV and Flingo will be one of the companies out front."
Flingo's SyncApps platform brings contextually relevant content directly to the viewer's TV, laptop, tablet or smart phone while watching live TV. Viewers are just one-click away from instantly sharing their favorite moments with friends or easily participating in the conversation happening on Twitter and Facebook about their favorite shows. This is enabled by Flingo's core technology in algorithmic content detection, which identifies hundreds of channels of live television content that are being analyzed in Flingo data centers across the country.
The funding will help Flingo expand its presence with smart TV and device manufacturers worldwide, building on its current partnerships with leading manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Vizio, Sanyo, Insignia, Western Digital, and Netgear.
"We are thrilled by these strategic partnerships with some of the brightest minds in video technology and programming," said Ashwin Navin, CEO and co-founder of Flingo. "Working with Mark Cuban and Gary Lauder, who have an overwhelmingly successful investment record in the technology and digital media industries, and their colleagues in the industry helps shape our product roadmap and engagement model with media companies and operators. Their confidence in our company and shared belief in our vision is tremendous validation of our role in the TV ecosystem. These relationships lay the foundation for many more partnerships we will announce in the future."
Flingo has already announced partnerships with media companies like Fox, A+E Networks, Showtime, Warner Bros., CBS, Blip, Vimeo, Linkin Park, on hardware platforms like Samsung, LG, Vizio, Sanyo, Insignia, Western Digital, Netgear and more.