US firm Kwarter, a startup based in San Francisco which partners with broadcasters and TV operators to build second-screen apps, has closed a new round of funding worth US$ 4mn with T-Venture, the venture arm of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, and Kinetic Ventures.
According to reports on TechCrunch, the company has already partnered with major broadcasters like Turner Broadcasting and big brands like drinks manufacturer InBev, and will be using the new funding to help grow its platform and attract the attention of new partners.
This latest round of funding brings the total raised by Kwarter to US$ 5mn, including US$ 1mn in convertible notes. The company was founded in 2011 and now expects to more than double its employee base from the current nine to over 20.
It will be up against some increasingly powerful players though: more established names in the social TV space include GetGlue and Zeebox, and there is a wide variety of app developers that are eschewing the B2C model in favour of pitching their services directly to brands and broadcasters.
The prize on offer is certainly rich though: US firm Marketsandmarkets predicted rather breathlessly last October that social TV could be worth a staggering US$ 256bn by 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.2% over the next five years.
Editor’s view: This looks like a canny investment by Deutsche Telekom: the telco just bought itself a way of rapidly bringing complementary new second-screen apps and services to market, as done by UK broadcaster BSkyB last year with Zeebox.
With TV operations across Europe, Germany’s biggest telco may be making social TV announcements in a number of countries later this year.