Ensequence, a company that has been trying to push interactive television for over a decade, has pulled in a further $26 million in investment to “accelerate its expansion into mobile and connected TV.” Ensequence has also gained a new board member, Jim Stengel, a former global marketing officer at Procter & Gamble, a member of the advisory board at Myrian Capital, which led the funding round.
“The future of TV depends on enhanced engagement,” he said in a statement. “Ensequence helps TV brands and marketers navigate a fast-moving environment and focus on delivering the most engaging brand experiences with the largest footprint possible.”
Jim Stengel is the author of Grow: How ideals power growth and profit at the world’s greatest companies, a self-help book for business leaders.
Founded in 2000 in Portland Oregon, by former Intel executive Dalen Harrison, Ensequence initially focussed on what then appeared to be the next big thing but can now be seen as traditional interactive television.
In 2009 Peter Low took over as president and chief executive, after the company secured an additional $20 million in funding. That round was led by Clay Mathile, former chief executive and owner of the Iams pet food company that was sold in 1999 for $2.3 billion to Proctor & Gamble. The latest injection of finance was led by Myrian Capital, a venture fund chaired by his son, Mike Mathile.
Ensequence said the funding would help the company enable “programmers, advertisers and service providers to transform television into a more engaging consumer viewing experience on all platforms and devices.”
Over the last decade Ensequence has raised around $125 million including the latest round on the promise of delivering interactive television and has yet to deliver any real return on that investment.
However, interactive television today is a different prospect, in an emerging environment of connected televisions, tablets and smartphones, no longer dominated by the legacy platforms of service providers.
Ensequence is pivoting its business around delivering synchronised interactivity to the second screen. The company has previously announced partnerships with Zeitera and Civolution to integrate automatic content recognition based on watermarking with its iTV Manager platform.
The company claims customers including Comcast, Dish Network, Time Warner and Verizon.
While its long experience in interactive television may give it relationships with programming and distribution networks, Ensequence is not alone in chasing the money that is television advertising, a $70 billion a year business in the United States alone.