Congratulations to Bluefin Labs – acquired by Twitter

Today, our Redpoint portfolio company, Bluefin Labs, is announcing its merger with Twitter.  When we invested in Bluefin about two and a half years ago, we bought into the vision of matching and measuring social response to TV viewing; and deriving insights into engagement and reactions to ads and programs.  A spinout out of the MIT Media Lab, Bluefin uses heavy data science to gain never before available understandings to reactions to TV by matching millions of people’s social postings, such as tweets, to actual programs and ads.  By doing so, Bluefin is able to create the world’s largest and first ad hoc, real time focus group.   This information can then be measured and mined for deep insights that can help brands, agencies, and TV networks make actionable, and valuable decisions.

The combination of social and big data coupled with the largest audience and advertising market (ie TV) was what we got excited about, particularly in combination with the rapidly evolving entertainment industry. This is a space we have been excited about for years, from early investments in Netflix and Tivo to more recent investments in Fanhattan, Machinima and Sonos.

Bluefin was a classic start-up story.  Founded by an MIT professor, Deb Roy, and his principal PhD researcher, Michael Fleischman; Bluefin started in a small space in Cambridge, MA.  Later, JP Maheu joined as CEO as Bluefin began to transition from a science and development project to revenue producing business scaling to multiple large accounts.  Today, Bluefin has an excellent professional management team anchored by Jeremy Rishel, Tom Thai, and Anjli Midha.

I will miss working with Bluefin so closely, but am confident that this partnership with Twitter will change the landscape of understanding TV viewership and interaction.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds.  Thanks for letting me be part of the journey.