Liberty Global Ventures has joined Volta Ventures in leading a €2 million (US$2.24 million) series A funding round in LookLive, a startup focused on advanced, contextual advertising that has developed a platform/widget that identifies items in TV shows that can be purchased by viewers.
LookLive’s sales platform is currently in beta mode, but examples of items consumers can buy include a sweatshirt David Beckham wore in an H&M commercial, or the Hugo Boss suit worth by Spencer Strasmore, the character played by Dwayne Johnson in the HBO original series Ballers, a tie worn by Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) in Netflix’s House of Cards, or an ensemble worn by Taylor Swift in the music video for “Bad Blood.”
LookLive said its cloud-based platform uses “machine learning” to identify products, including apparel, shoes, and accessories, in TV shows and digital images. It expects to expand into areas such as music, furniture, and automobiles. Products are sold via a widget that can be integrated with partners' digital platforms
Amsterdam-based LookLive said it will use the fresh funds to accelerate its platform development and to expand partnerships with broadcast and consumer brands.
LookLive, which has built a proprietary artificial intelligence software called “Kitt” that uses Semantic Web Graph technology, notes in its FAQ that the company does not partner with any of the producers or costume designers to identify wardrobe items. But it has developed commercial offerings for content producers, OTT providers, cable operators, brands and online retailers.
More detail on LookLive’s approach can be seen in the video demo below:
“We’re excited about the LookLive Platform and what it brings to the online viewing experience,” Christopher Archer, LookLive’s CEO and a former online sales marketing exec at Liberty Global, said in a statement. “From being able to shop characters’ wardrobes in your favorite TV shows, to helping advertisers deliver more effective messages, this new funding will help expand our offerings.”
“Working with best-in-class start-ups such as Looklive helps Liberty Global keep on top of the most innovative new ideas in the market while offering partners the scale and benefits of our expertise as a long-standing international TV platform operator,” added John Paul, managing director, advanced advertising and data at Liberty Global. “Data and advanced forms of advertising support a fundamental part of Liberty Global’s strategy and we look forward to developing and nurturing our relationship with Looklive to create new revenue streams.”