Social entertainment network GetGlue, which allows users to check in while they consume content like books, TV or movies in exchange for stickers and other rewards, has closed $6 million in series C financing.
The round, led by new investor Time Warner Investments, comes amid continued momentum for GetGlue. The latest sign of its popularity: users clamoring on Twitter for stickers for the latest Harry Potter movie, which resulted in an impromptu partnership with Warner Bros.’ theatrical division to satiate demand.
Existing investors RRE Ventures and Union Square Ventures also participated in the round. Time Warner was the only new investor, according to Chief Operating Officer Fraser Kelton. He says the round “closed very recently” after a “short fundraising cycle,” but declined to provide specifics.
The new funding brings GetGlue’s total backing to $12 million to date, including a small series A round in 2007 and series B financing the following year. Kelton says Time Warner invested because GetGlue was already working with a number of its entertainment properties, including HBO.
Other GetGlue partners include AMC, ABC Family, Disney Theatrical, Discovery, ESPN, FOX, Food Network, Hachette, HGTV, MTV, MSNBC, Penguin, PBS, Random House, Simon and Schuster, Syfy, Travel Channel and Universal Pictures.
The money will be used to launch GetGlue’s social entertainment platform, including a GetGlue API and a set of widgets for websites, Facebook, iPhones and iPads that allow partners to more easily integrate GetGlue check-ins, rewards and recommendations into their own apps. Kelton says these integration functions are already used by partners like 20th Century Fox, Showtime, USA Network and Sony Pictures.
GetGlue also plans to improve core functionality, scale GetGlue across new devices and platforms, establish new partnerships, expand relationships with existing partners, and build out its team in New York. There are also plans to integrate GetGlue directly into television sets and set-top boxes.
In a prepared statement, Rachel Lam, SVP and group managing director of Time Warner Investments, said, "GetGlue is innovating in an area that is strategically important for Time Warner — the intersection of social media and entertainment. Our divisions have partnered with GetGlue to provide fans of our content with an engaging second screen experience, and we are thrilled to become investors in this fast-growing market leader."
GetGlue now has more than 700,000 registered users, up from 600,000 in September.
Kelton says enthusiasm for the service was recently demonstrated after the company saw a growing number of requests for Harry Potter stickers on Twitter. An agreement was made with Warner Bros.’ theatrical division – which released the movie -- just two days before the latest installment in the franchise premiered.
“Part of the reason we weren’t planning (to release stickers) was because we hadn’t started discussions with Warner Bros. theatrical,” Kelton says. “It was on a whim. And the fact that the community on Twitter was able to help secure (the deal) brought us big smiles.”
Kelton declined to provide numbers regarding the number of check-ins or stickers rewarded for the movie.
As a result of the round, Allison Goldberg from Time Warner Investments will join the GetGlue board. Kelton also joins, bringing the total number of directors to five.
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March 19, 2014