Social TV Platform Philo Gets Round A Venture Capital Infusion

written by: Richard Kastelein

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PHILO, the social television platform that is (re)inventing television by giving TV fans a new way to watch and interact with their favorite shows, announced today that it has completed financing with a consortium of institutional and angel investors.  Also today, PHILO made two new product introductions.  The company officially launched v.1.2 of its iPhone and iPod Touch app, which now supports check-in to time-shifted television content.  In addition, PHILO debuted its social TV Web application, available at www.playPHILO.com.

North Bridge Venture Partners and DFJ Gotham Ventures are among PHILO's institutional investors.  North Bridge's Dayna Grayson, who joined PHILO's Board of Directors, noted, "We have spent a lot of time in the digital media space and are big believers in the future of social and interactive television.  We are extremely excited to support PHILO in exploiting this burgeoning opportunity."  In addition to the institutional investors, several others contributed to the financing including ENIAC Ventures and Studio Lambert CEO, Stephen Lambert, one of the most prolific worldwide television format executive producers/creators whose credits include the award-winning "Wife Swap," "Faking It," "Secret Millionaire" and, most recently, "Undercover Boss."

"We are honored to be supported by such an established and well-regarded group of institutional and angel investors," stated David Levy, Co-Founder and CEO of PHILO.  Levy added, "We launched PHILO to the public just over a month ago and already the response from users and media companies has been outstanding.  PHILO changes the way people approach, watch, and interact with television.  The possibilities for real time social interaction, content discovery, and promotional opportunities are nearly limitless."

The new PHILO iPhone and iPod Touch app features a number of enhancements, which are also reflected in the all-new PHILO Web app.  For example:

  • Users now can tune-in to and comment on DVR'd shows as well as live programming.
  • With the new iPhone/iPod push notifications, when friends tune in, users receive alerts delivered to their handhelds even if they're not currently playing PHILO.
  • PHILO's new and improved activity stream lets users see how friends and other viewers are tuning in, commenting, winning awards, and earning credits.
  • PHILO added more awards for viewing behavior (some secret and some not so secret), which send users on a virtual scavenger hunt through television programming.
  • New "credits" like Director and Executive Producer let users climb the Hollywood ranks on their favorite shows by tuning in and interacting more than other viewers.
  • And, of course, the new app is optimized for iOS4.

Whether it's a sporting event, a reality show, a prime time soap or the latest episode of a beloved sci-fi hit, PHILO turns every episode of every television series into an instantaneous group version of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" for users and their friends.  The result is an even more engaging version of television as we know it.  Built into PHILO is a series of fun interactive games as well as prizes that users can unlock as they meet up with friends and check in to more television shows. 

PHILO is available in the App Store here, and the download is free.   


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