TVSMILES, a loyalty program for TV advertising, has secured seven million dollars in a series-A round of financing. The start-up is receiving the fresh money from French fund Ventech S.A., which had already invested in TVSMILES. Also investing is the international venture fund e.ventures. German Startups Group, Brandenburg Ventures, Magix AG as well as other angel investors are also reinvesting.
TVSMILES, the first loyalty program for TV advertising, has secured seven million dollars in a series-A round of financing and scooped some prestigious lead investors. The start-up is receiving the fresh money from the French fund Ventech S.A., which had already invested in TVSMILES and has now just keenly topped up. Also coming on board is the international venture fund e.ventures, who invests in high-growth start-ups in the USA, Asia and Brazil on a global level. German Startups Group, Brandenburg Ventures, Magix AG as well as other angel investors are also in for another innings. The additional capital will be invested to scale the business model in Germany, as well as to launch the first foreign markets already in 2014.
TVSMILES rewards television viewers for watching and interacting with TV ads. The mobile app recognises TV ads from their audio signal and automatically opens a corresponding campaign in the TVSMILES app. The viewer collects “smiles”, the virtual currency of TVSMILES, which can be exchanged for rewards and gift cards from known retail brands shops. Extending the TV ad to the second screen allows the advertisers to directly interact with their target group directly from the TV-spot. TVSMILES is closing the gap between television advertising, digital marketing and the point-of-sale for the first time ever.
Already six months after the launch, seven-figure campaign revenues have been booked by companies like Wrigley, Johnson&Johnson and Mitsubishi, which have successfully launched second-screen campaigns in the TVSMILES app. TVSMILES is marketed by SevenOne Media, the sales house of German media group ProSiebenSat.1 .
Up to today several hundred million Smiles have been collected by the users and over 50,000 rewards from Mediamarkt, H&M and Amazon redeemed. With more than one million downloads and over 50,000 five-star evaluations, the TVSMILES app ranks among the most reviewed apps.
“We are very happy to have won leading international investors for the A-round. It proves that even abroad there’s a great potential for TVSMILES”, says Frederic Westerberg, CEO of TVSMILES. “This year we’d like to establish TVSMILES as the default second-screen advertising platform for all TV advertising companies and use the additional capital to launch the first international markets”.
“TVSMILES fits perfectly to our strategy, investing in early stage companies that show great potential for international success. TVSMILES is a real innovation, which is quite rare in Germany. TVSMILES has shown significant traction after only a few months, what really impressed us”, Andreas Haug, General Partner of e.ventures, commented.
Christian Claussen, General Partner of Ventech, added: “The advertising market is at a turning point. In our view, TVSMILES is in a unique position to set new standards of how companies can use TV advertising to build customer relations and measurable success”.
Christoph Gerlinger, CEO of German Startups Group: “We were enthusiastic about the TVSMILES idea from the very beginning and because of their impressive performance we have invested now in the company for the third time”.
TVSMILES is the first loyalty program for TV advertising. Television viewers are rewarded just for watching and interacting with TV ads. With the TVSMILES mobile app, which recognises the audio signal of ads on television, the viewer can collect “Smiles” and redeem them for attractive prizes and rewards. The TVSMILES app has already been downloaded more than a million times and with over 50,000 five-star ratings, it ranks among the most reviewed apps in Germany. TVSMILES enables TV-advertisers to engage viewers directly from the TV-spot, thus closing the gap between TV advertising, digital marketing and the point-of-sale. TVSMILES was founded by Frederic Westerberg, Gaylord Zach and Christian Heins January 2013 and is funded by international Venture Capital Funds. The company is located in Berlin, and currently employs 35 people.