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Discovery Invests in WinView Sports-Wagering App Startup

WinView, a startup whose app lets users win cash prizes by placing free wagers on sporting events while watching live TV, has raised $12 million in Series B funding from investors including Discovery Communications.

The second round of funding was led Tom Rogers, a previous investor in the company, who is executive chairman of WinView. Rogers is the former chairman and CEO of TiVo, and before that was head of NBC Cable and chairman and CEO of Primedia.

In addition to Discovery, others investors participating in WinView’s latest round include Graham Holdings Co. (owner of Slate, educational-testing firm Kaplan and former owner of the Washington Post), Ted Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and Aryeh Bourkoff’s LionTree Partners. The company said it will use the funding to further develop and market its mobile app across a range of pro sports, including MLB, NBA and NFL games.

The company last year raised a total of $5.5 million in its Series A round of funding. WinView insists that its games do not constitute “betting” or “gambling,” because users don’t pay money to play them.

“WinView’s products complement Discovery’s goal to reach and engage our superfans around the world and across all screens,” David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, said in a statement. “The company has strong expertise in mobile and sports; a business and engagement model poised to help drive consumption of live content; and a top-notch leadership team.”

The free, ad-supported WinView Games app lets users enter real-time contests in which they compete to predict the plays on the field in order to win cash prizes. The games covered by WinView are produced in a live studio by a team of producers based on what is happening in real time. The app has about 130,000 active users, according to the company.

“This first-class group of investors is a major validation of our live TV sports prediction platform and its upside potential to engage TV viewers in a new way to enjoy televised sports,” Rogers said in a statement.

The WinView Games app, launched last fall, will expand across multiple sports and aims to provide a way for fans attending sporting events in-person a way to make bets on plays from their seats.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based company was founded by CEO Dave Lockton. Rogers had also invested in Lockton’s previous second-screen play-along company, Interactive Network.

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