Funding

Brooklyn-Based SocialGuide, a TV Guide for the Twitter Era, Is Raising a $500K. Debt Round

It's the data, stupid.

screen shot 2012 01 29 at 4 35 04 pm e1327872992239 Brooklyn Based SocialGuide, a TV Guide for the Twitter Era, Is Raising a $500K. Debt Round

SocialGuide, a startup that determines what TV shows and movies are popular by combing Twitter and Facebook, is in the process of raising a $500,000 debt round, according to the company’s latest SEC filing via FormDs.com. The first sale of securities, which includes both “debt” and “option, warrant or other right to acquire another security,” was on January 17th. SocialGuide has already raised $400,000 from 10 investors towards the round, with $100,000 to go.

“We are in a position as a company where we’re looking to achieve profitability over the next two quarters,” CEO and founder Sean Casey told Betabeat by phone. “We decided to put together a note that will help us get there. It was just the right financing.”

The Brooklyn-based service, located at 68 Jay Street in Dumbo, bills itself as “the first real-time Social Programming Guide.” By ranking what’s popular on social networks, according to keywords counts, and then surfacing “the shows that your friends are talking about,” the company is able to recommend what’s worth watching. No more hearing about the “Downtown Abbey” Christmas special a week after everyone else tumbled their favorite Dowager Countess-isms. In September, SocialGuide, which previously went by the name Talkwit, introduced a similar service for movies, which is currently in beta.

But its real value may be in data it collects about the budding field of social TV.

Mr. Casey said the financing would be used to support new hires and revenue-generating products SocialGuide is planning to push in the near future. That includes an upcoming social TV data analytics and audience engagement platform called SocialGuide Intelligence that it will be launching along “with major cable networks.” SocialGuide is also launching API solutions used by third-parties to power social TV guides on set-top boxes, connected TVs, and second-screen applications, like a cable provider’s iPad app. Its Social TV APIs will include, “Guide, Streams, and Meta Content and Recommendations,” said Mr. Casey.

“We focus on the social activity happening around U.S. TV,” noted Mr. Casey. SocialGuide claims to have captured 300 million social TV comments and matched them to over 40,000 unique television shows, which he says makes it the “most comprehensive in the marketplace.” The company started collecting data on movies in May and currently covers all movies in U.S. theaters.

Prior to this current round of funding, SocialGuide secured a $1.5 million equity round led by a number of angel investors including Alex Zubillaga, the former head of digital strategy at Warner Music. Mr. Casey said “largely everybody participated” in this round as well and promised some big partnership announcements in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Mr. Casey seems to have borrowed a page from the OkCupid rulebook and managed to keep itself in the press by mining in-house data for notable TV trends, such as the irrepressible charms of Snooki & Co.

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