Content-Discovery Startup MediaHound Raises $4.5 Million

L.A.-based startup launches its first iPhone app for media discovery

Startup MediaHound has raised $4.5 million in first-round funding from private investors, and the company is launching its first iPhone app aimed at letting consumers find, curate and share their favorite entertainment content.

The latest funding brings L.A.-based MediaHound to $5 million raised to date. Part of the Series A funding came from the USC Viterbi Startup Garage program, a partnership among UTA, USC and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. The company declined to identify its other investors. MediaHound originally built a web-based discovery service for movie and TV content, and has now expanded to encompass other media including music, books and videogames.

Dozens of other apps and services provide similar content recommendations and social-sharing features tied into Apple iTunes, Netflix, Spotify, Vudu and others. MediaHound claims its key differentiator is that spans multiple domains and plans to introduce a universal-search feature.

“MediaHound helps users break down barriers for universal access to all entertainment,” CEO Addison McCaleb said. He said feedback from MediaHound’s initial service showed users were interested in finding and sharing entertainment formats beyond just TV shows and movies, such as the “Harry Potter” books.

Currently, MediaHound’s iOS app is available on an invitation-only basis to its base of about 30,000 beta-test users.

Formed in 2011, MediaHound spun out of the USC Viterbi Startup Garage’s accelerator, formed by USC; Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers; and UTA. The 12-employee company is based in El Segundo, Calif.

MediaHound generates revenue from affiliate-referral fees (for example, if users purchase a movie through iTunes, it gets a percentage of the transaction) and also runs entertainment-focused ads on the service.

Correction: A previous version of this article said UTA participated in MediaHound’s first round of funding. In fact, UTA is an investor in MediaHound indirectly through funding from the USC Viterbi Startup Garage program.

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