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TV industry-backed second screen app ConnecTV raises $1.4M

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SMRTV Inc., the company that produces second screen TV service ConnecTV, has raised a $1.4 million in funding, according to a Security Exchange Commission document filed yesterday.

A growing number of people stare at their mobile devices while watching television, and you are probably one of them. But that sort of behavior is what ConnecTV wants to take advantage of.

ConnecTV’s app lets TV viewers automatically check in to a particular TV show, movie, or commercial by listening to what they’re watching. The app, which uses Watchwith’s technology, syncs a tablet or smartphone to provide an extra layer of content (actor bios, trivia, etc.) throughout the program. You can also comment about what you’re watching with friends or view a “SocialTV Timeline” stream that contains news, bios, polls, and celebrity tweets about a particular program. ConnecTV works for both live broadcasted TV content as well as content that’s been saved to a DVR.

The service also provides an ad syncing feature that will provide a secondary advertisement that pops up on mobile devices in conjunction with a commercial that’s playing. The ad sync feature also enables advertisers to run promotions and sales, which you can navigate to on their tablet or smartphone. For advertisers worried that their expensive TV commercial campaign isn’t making an impression, the ad syncing feature could be very appealing.

ConnecTV was cofounded by a handful of TV industry veterans, including former TV Guide president Ian Aaron, former TiVo technology head Alan Moskowitz, and former TiVo chief programing officer Stacy Jolna. It’s also partnering with many prominent media companies, like Belo Corp., Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps Co., Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television Inc., Media General Inc., Meredith Corp., Post-Newsweek Stations Inc. and Raycom Media.

Founded in 2010, the Emoryville, Calif.-based startup competes with Shazam, Dijit, IntoNow, ZeeBox, and others. The startup previously raised an undisclosed round of funding from major U.S. TV broadcast groups representing ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, MyNetworkTV, and CW in 45 of the top 50 markets in the country. The SEC filing indicates that ConnecTV could raise another $2.6 million before closing its latest funding round.

VentureBeat has reached out to ConnecTV for more details about the funding, and will update this post with any new information.

TV photo via Shutterstock

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