Technology

Time Warner Inc. Leads $12M Round In Social-TV Analytics Startup Bluefin

1/25/2012 12:08 PM Eastern

Bluefin Labs, a social-TV analytics startup, has raised $12 million in a series B round led by Time Warner Inc.'s investment arm with participation from new investor SoftBank Capital and return investors Redpoint Ventures and Lerer Ventures.

The startup analyzes social-media data about TV shows and commercials, and sells the information to ad agencies, marketers and TV networks. Bluefin Labs' customers include CBS, Fox, Discovery Communications, MediaCom, MTV Networks and Starcom MediaVest.

Bluefin Labs scans hundreds of satellite-delivered channels to identify the content and ads, and has analyzed more than 346,000 individual TV telecasts to date. It matches up that TV data with social-networking conversations.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company was founded in 2008 by two former MIT Research Lab scientists, Deb Roy and Michael Fleischman. Bluefin Labs introduced a private beta of its analytics service in May 2011, followed in July with the commercial launch of the Bluefin Signals analytics platform.

With Time Warner's investment, Rachel Lam, senior vice president and group managing director of Time Warner Investments, will join the Bluefin Labs board of directors.

Bluefin Labs said it will use the new financing to accelerate sales and client services efforts, as well as to invest in technology and R&D.

"We are witnessing a huge shift in consumer behavior, as people now naturally turn to social media to voice their opinions about what they are watching on television. Our technology allows us to therefore provide deep insights into consumer mindsets," Bluefin Labs CEO Deb Roy said in a statement.