Haystack TV Scores $1.7 Million For Its Information Service Aimed At Twine Cutters
One of many issues with chopping the twine immediately is that you simply lose entry to quite a lot of information channels and packages, and there are few assets within the streaming world that may take their place. An organization working to deal with this drawback, Haystack TV, has now raised $1.7 million in seed funding for its personalised information service aimed toward particularly twine cutters.
However you don’t essentially have to have severed ties solely together with your pay TV supplier to be able to benefit from Haystack TV’s streams. Whereas the corporate’s bigger focus is offering a approach for twine cutters to observe the information in a brand new format, its app additionally is sensible for these whose lives not revolve round so-referred to as “appointment TV.”
That’s, in the event you don’t tune in to the night information regularly, however nonetheless need to watch tales with a bit extra depth to them than the “micro-information” popularized by providers like Snapchat Uncover or NowThisNews, for instance, Haystack TV might fill that void. Its movies are temporary – round three to five minutes in size – however are designed to be watched one after one other in a steady stream.
Buyers within the seed spherical embrace Peter Kellner (founding father of Endeavor International), Inspovation Ventures, DeltaG Ventures, Larry Braitman, David Anderman (former COO of Lucasfilm), SGH Capital, and Stanford’s StartX Fund.
Personalised, Aggregated Information
For these unfamiliar with the app, Haystack TV is actually a information aggregator mixed with personalization know-how that provides you a custom-made feed of stories tales that include the information that’s necessary for everybody to know in addition to these tales which are of most curiosity to you.
Haystack TV, at current, pulls in content material from over one hundred fifty information organizations who publish to YouTube. These video clips cowl quite a lot of sectors, together with world information, nationwide information, enterprise information, science and know-how, leisure, and extra.
The startup, which was incubated at Stanford’s StartX accelerator in fall 2013, was launched round a yr in the past, initially as an Android pill software earlier than increasing to iPad, iPhone, Android smartphones, in addition to Android TV. With that latter integration, the startup’s app will now be one in every of 28 launch companions for Google’s Android TV which can energy TVs launched this yr by corporations like Sony, Sharp, Phillips and others.
Haystack TV additionally works with Apple TV over AirPlay in addition to with Chromecast, and can roll out help for extra platforms, like Roku or Amazon’s Hearth TV, sooner or later.
The thought for the startup comes from co-founders Daniel Barreto, beforehand the Chief Software program Architect at Wyse (acquired by Dell) and a instructor at Stanford, together with Ish Harshawat, previously the Cellular Architect at Cellfire (acquired by Catalina Advertising.) Mixed, the 2 have launched merchandise through the years which have reached hundreds of thousands of customers on cellular and elsewhere.
However what prompted them to start engaged on Haystack TV within the first place was a private frustration. As new twine cutters themselves, they discovered themselves missing in choices for watching TV information on-line in a method that mirrored the lean-again expertise they have been used to from their cable TV days.
“We tried to make use of YouTube,” explains Harshawat, “nevertheless it was actually exhausting to seek out present information, and it’s not excellent at surfacing trending video after which placing it collectively in a consumer expertise that’s straightforward to make use of,” he says. For individuals who have been used to the headline information expertise, YouTube by itself was not a superb alternative, Harshawat provides.
So as an alternative, the group constructed know-how that permits Haystack TV to scan the hundreds of stories movies which might be shared every day and analyze hundreds of thousands of knowledge factors about these movies, together with issues like what individuals are saying about them on Twitter, YouTube, Fb and elsewhere. By understanding what a given video is about, Haystack TV can classify the video appropriately, so its customers can construct their personalised information channel.
However in contrast to Fb’s Information Feed, which begins to customise itself to your pursuits typically to the exclusion of necessary information and knowledge, Haystack TV nonetheless options necessary trending information of the day along with these tales you personally care about. You initially practice the product by choosing your favourite classes and subjects, however the extra you employ it, the service adapts by studying what tales you watch and which of them you skip.
Extra lately, the corporate has been having discussions with information publishers and native information stations as a way to set up partnerships that would increase its content material choice additional. Already, it’s piloting native information in 4 metro areas: San Francisco, Boston, New York and L.A., with extra within the works. Ultimately, its enterprise mannequin might embrace promoting, together with probably pre-roll or native advertisements, however that is nonetheless being examined.
Haystack TV gained’t disclose the dimensions of its consumer base, however notes that its customers have watched tens of millions of movies so far, and, on common, spend quarter-hour per session in its apps, and eighty minutes on the service per week.
The startup additionally plans to make use of the brand new funding to double its workforce of 4 to eight, and proceed enhancing its personalization know-how.