Thursday, January 19, 2012

Social TV startup ZAPITANO raises 1.7 million euros [Interview]

Social TV startup ZAPITANO raises 1.7 million euros [Interview] Posted by on January 17, 2012

Another social TV company has been funded. ZAPITANO, which is another Berlin-based startup, has been financed with 1.7 million Euros. Their funding comes from a combination of a VC and private investors. Interestingly, this startup will be primarily focused on the German TV market as it prepares to grow. While it?s too early to make any predictions on how their product (a second screen app) will compare to the long list of competitors they face in the US, it?s definitely smart that they?re going after the German TV market, where they might be able to grow a sizable user-base that positions them well to be acquired in a few years if one of the already established apps take off. Here?s an explanation of what they?ll be launching from their press release:

ZAPITANO extends television into a permanent virtual public viewing�event and it is the social companion of the viewer for a total television�evening, either before, during or after the program. The viewer cannot only�check in to a program at ZAPITANO but can also invite friends to watch a�certain program and discuss what is shown, admire their favorite soccer�players or rate the x-factor candidates.

We spoke with Marc Mogalle, their CFO, who described social TV as, ?no longer limited to the living�room, but extended to the whole of Germany.? He added that, ?the television couch is getting�filled again in an excitingly different way.? Mogalle explained that the German market consists of 52 million viewers daily and 220 minutes in average per day.

?PayTV is not very important in Germany or better the German speaking area which includes Austria and the German speaking part of Switzerland,? Mogalle said. ?FreeTV dominates the market which is divided by public (ARD & ZDF) and private TV channels (RTL Group and Pro/SAT.1-Group).? He also told us that, ?ZDF: ?Wetten DASS?, every two months on Sat night, with approximately 10 million viewers,? and ?ARD: Tatort, crime, every Sun night, 7-9 million viewers,? are the two most popular shows.

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