You.i TV, a vendor of software for building cross-platform user interfaces for video apps, has closed $23 million in growth capital led by Causeway Media Partners, an investment fund focused on sports media and tech.
Participating in the round were previous investors WarnerMedia, owned by AT&T; Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors; and Vistara Capital Partners. The funding brings You.i TV’s total funding to $47 million to date. With the investment, Bob Higgins, partner at Causeway Media, has joined the board of You.i TV.
The 10-year-old Canadian company will use the funding to growth You.i TV’s global footprint — particularly in Latin American and Europe — as well as build out its developer community and invest in new ad-tech solutions, said co-founder and CEO Jason Flick (pictured above).
“We’ll be able to get to market faster with this funding,” Flick said. The company sees a growing opportunity to enable the efficient delivery of UI experiences for internet video services, and thereby boost profitability. “For the last 10 years, it’s been about the back end – cloud infrastructure, encoding/decoding. Now the client side is the problem,” said Flick.
You.i TV’s funding announcement comes after news that another user-interface design firm, Massive Interactive, was acquired by sports-media firm Deltatre in a deal worth up to $127 million.
Based in Ottawa, Ontario, You.i TV currently has 198 employees. within the next 18 months, the company will likely increase its headcount by 100, according to Flick.
You.i TV’s customer roster includes AT&T and WarnerMedia (including Turner and Warner Bros.), as well as Fox, National Geographic, the NBA, the NFL, Amazon-owned Twitch, and A+E Networks. Time Warner, now renamed WarnerMedia, led a $12 million investment round in You.i TV in 2016.
Higgins said he’s watched media companies struggle to get it right on user experiences for digital services. “Today, content owners [have a] trade-off between engagement and monetization,” he said. “We think You.i TV’s product unlocks unlimited potential for changing that equation.”
Causeway Media’s portfolio includes stakes in ETN Media, an action-sports OTT network featuring live and original programming; FloSports, another OTT network for live sports and original content; and Formula E, an all-electric global auto racing series.
Founded in 2013, Causeway Media is led by Wyc Grousbeck, former general partner at Highland Capital Partners and lead owner of the Boston Celtics; Mark Wan, co-founder of Three Arch Partners and part owner in both the Boston Celtics and the San Francisco 49ers; and Higgins, co-founder of Highland Capital Partners.
Flick touted his company’s You.i Engine One software platform, which lets companies create personalized experiences rapidly across numerous digital platforms – including mobile devices, set-top boxes, game consoles and other streaming devices – from a single code base. “If you’re a media company you need to pick a UI framework that works across all screens,” he said.