Five years ago, at the height of the smartphone and tablet revolution, Motty Lentzitzky, now CEO of Comigo, wondered why the same thing was not happening in television "We wanted to create an experience that combines premium content with information from the open Internet," he says, "for example, parodies, Youtube and Vimeo movies, a link to social networks, and anything going on with real-time content. In 2011, we began to think about a product."
When Lentzitzky says "we began," he is talking about an experienced group of eight former Modu employees, led by Dov Moran. "The idea for Comigo was tossed forth between myself and Dov Moran, and that's how we landed in the world of television. There were very good people in Modu. We were a class act that wanted to go on working together, and after we developed the idea, we got going in 2013."
The market: Lentzitzky: "I'm not aware of any big competitors. We now have nine customers in the world. We're not active in Israel yet. It's simply a matter of the company's maturity. It's a long process, and it's definitely one of the coming stages."
"Globes": How do you overcome the language gaps?
"It's already part of the technology, and our engine is able to do it as part of the localization."
The product: Comigo is at the dividing line between the Internet, television, and the user experience. It offers solutions that will constitute the next generation of the television experience. It enriches the content, personalizes it, and makes the broadcasts richer and more up-to-date. Lentzizky: "What we actually do is give the providers the technology to do it. The consumer gets a converter. Were the service active in Israel, you'd get our converter instead of the Hot Telecommunication Systems Ltd. (TASE: HOT.B1) or DBS Satellite Services (1998) Ltd. (YES) converter. What it means in practice is that if you're watching Seinfeld, for example, you can get background material about the characters during the broadcast. In football games, for example, we offer data about the players, fresh updates, with just two clicks."
What is the business model?
"There's payment for software and hardware, if we're the ones providing it, and there's per user payment for content. In addition, there's a unique concept of WatchAppTM Applications - a monitoring application specifically relevant to me as a viewer. For example, you can send a viewing invitation to friends, and get a free movie for it. In another case, let's assume that my daughter is watching Frozen. I can buy her merchandise based on the movie while she's watching it."
Stage in activity: "We're expanding in both the number of customers and in developing the next generation of the product. We recently recruited 20 employees, and we're still doing major recruitment. As of now, the company has 50 employees, and we recently developed a site in Ukraine."
When do you plan on including Israel in the product?
"We're talking at one level or another with all the entities in Israel, and we'll do it when a suitable opportunity comes along."
Raising capital: "Dov Moran invested $12 million in Comigo. As of now, we're using the incoming money to expand our business."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 29, 2015
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