Wicket Labs, a Seattle startup founded by former executives of Comcast-owned thePlatform, has raised $2 million to arm media companies with the data they need to succeed in this era of endless choices of entertainment and platforms.
The startup declined to name investors in the seed round, but its CEO Marty Roberts said the company is up to $2.2 million in lifetime funding since it was founded last year. The firm is up to seven employees now and plans to use the money to build out its engineering operation.
The company recently brought in Ian Blaine to be its chief strategy officer, in a move that will serve as a bit of a reunion. Blaine co-founded the online video management service thePlatform in 2000 and sold it to Comcast in 2006. He stepped down from the company in 2014, handing the reins to co-CEOs Roberts and Jamie Miller, who remains the CEO of thePlatform.
Roberts said the idea for Wicket Labs initially came about during his time at thePlatform. The company was originally founded as a middleman between premium video production companies and the multiple third-party API vendors they use to deliver their content to a viewer. He noticed many media companies calling about a consumer-reported problem with a website or app related to a “mission critical” API. But there was often little or no information about the cause or root of the issue, which varied depending on the company.
Since then the mission of the company has changed somewhat, and the veterans of the Comcast-owned business are using their knowledge to help media companies compete in an era of entertainment where Amazon wins Oscars, Twitter broadcasts football games, and streaming companies spend more on content than some traditional broadcasters. The key to success with so many providers battling each other is data, Roberts tells GeekWire.
“We believe that the effective use of data will be a decisive factor in determining the winners in the future of television,” Roberts said. “The continued fragmentation of the traditional pay television audience has created new opportunities and challenges for media companies.”
All the new means for watching shows and movies have led to new types of data that networks, online-based media providers will have to figure out how to leverage.
“To compete effectively in this evolving market, media companies will need a new level of sophistication in their business intelligence tools,” Roberts said. “The Wicket Labs mission is to level the playing field for media companies in an arena where data and insights drive winning strategies.”