Alibaba is making a big bet on Peel, a company that’s tapped into a huge demand for video discovery with its smart remote apps.
Peel has received a $50 million strategic investment from Alibaba, bringing its total funding to $95 million, it announced today.
Peel’s app is mostly focused on video discovery, but on phones with infra-red sensors it also lets you change channels on your television. Its latest app can also sync directly with DirecTV and Dish receivers, allowing any phone to control those devices.
The company says it now has 90 million users worldwide, who are making around 5 billion remote commands every month. It’s managed to grow quickly by integrating its software in popular Android phones from companies like Samsung and HTC.
Peel plans to use the money to expand its services, including the recently launched Peel.in platform, which gives TV networks and programmers a way to boost engagement with their shows.