Interactive video enabler Ensequence announced Tuesday a $40 million “C” round of venture funding, moolah that the firm will use to expand its operations, including the opening of offices in New York and LA.
By putting down solid roots in Madison Ave. and Tinseltown, the Portland, Ore.-based Ensequence is showing (or betting) that it is ready to start doing bigger and better deals for its On-Q software, which enables interactivity (a.k.a. user feedback or control) in traditional cable or satellite offerings, or on web platforms like baseball’s MLB.TV site. In another announcement Ensequence and MLB said that this year their partnership will let MLB.TV customers watch up to six games simultaneously, just part of a whole bunch of new features that should keep baseball junkies from productive use of their computer until October.
Aslam Khader, vice president of marketing and strategy for Ensequence, said the funding and the MLB.TV news are just part of the company’s overall plans to offer the best interactive-video enabling platform it can, regardless of transport platform.
“Our focus is, from a software perspective, to offer the most robust interactivity tools to the creative community,” said Khader in a phone interview Tuesday. Ensequence, now 7 years old, has a proven track record in designing interactive platforms for cable and satellite providers, mainly in the U.K. with major brands like the BBC and MTV UK.
Its TV experience, Khader said, serves Ensequence well in a move to the Internet, since some things — like six simultaneous live broadcast screens — just can’t be done with simple Web pages or Flash. Yet the Internet offers perhaps more attractive options to an interactivity-tools player, since broadband connections can support better feedback than the often limited upstream capabilities of cable and satellite TV.
“We’re going to marry our toolset and experience to the breadth of interactivity [on the web],” Khader said. With the new financing — from a single investment house that Khader said prefers to remain unnamed — Ensequence can now staff up sales offices in the major media markets, and perhaps spend less time on planes from Portland to do all the pitching. More time for online baseball, anyway!