Bloemfontein startup attracts R26 million in funding

Xineoh, a performance marketing company based in Bloemfontein, says it has secured funding in the amount of $2 million (R26 million) over the past seven months.

The funding, it said, will be used to build and grow Video Llama – a one-stop personal shopping assistant for video streaming; which will initially be rolled out in the US market.

The funds have come from a capital pool consisting of US and Canadian investors managed by King and Bay West.

Xineoh said that $800,000 was already raised in December and made available to Xineoh. The remaining $1.2 million is committed, “and should be closed by the end of the week”.

Founded in 2014, Xineoh specializes in the application of mathematical modelling and machine learning to optimizse conversion.

The company – based in Bloemfontein, and with offices in Cape Town, Oregon and Vancouver – said that thanks to its unique vectorisation algorithm, it has already generated in excess of $30 million in revenue for clients across the globe.

Xineoh said its algorithm is similar to those used by the likes of and Netflix, tapping into user behaviour to predict potential purchasing behaviour.

It pointed out that its algorithm relies on available rather than inputted information, creating associations based on the way other users have interacted with the same product or service.

“What makes our solution so special is the fact that it’s entirely scalable and easy to deploy across a wide range of sectors,” said CEO, Vian Chinner.

On the roll-out of Video Llama, he said: “The major problem with streaming services today is that they tend to offer up recommendations based on how much you will like a specific movie or show.

“And while they aren’t inherently wrong, they don’t necessarily offer up real value for viewers. With Video Llama, we’ve tapped into our algorithm to serve up realistic recommendations based on the behaviour of others, serving the types of movies or shows you’re likely to stream based on the time of day, your company and various other latent variables.”

Video Llama enables users to swipe left or right based on their preferences, and specify various viewing parameters – for instance, whether they’re watching with a partner or a child. The algorithm then retrieves the relevant titles, and quickly begins to further refine its offerings based on an individual’s expressed preferences.

Looking ahead, Xineoh plans to tap into the property sector. “Property is a high-investment purchase, and given the economic environment, real estate portals now need to entice users within the first 10 seconds if they have any realistic hope of sustaining interest.

“Using our algorithm, these sites will be better able to serve users homes based on what they’re actually looking for,” Chinner said.

Read: SA road mapping startup secures R20 million in funding


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Bloemfontein startup attracts R26 million in funding