Feb 22, 2022 - Economy

Scoop: Cloud production platform Tagboard raises $8 million

Illustration of a cell phone and a remote control balancing like a cairn.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tagboard has raised $8 million in a series A funding round valuing the startup at $40 million, CEO Nathan Peterson exclusively told Axios.

Why it matters: Tagboard, a cloud production platform for live programming, lets broadcasters and sports leagues incorporate social media graphics onto on-air coverage and in-stadium videos.

  • As traditional television viewership declines, media companies are trying to make broadcasts more engaging by creating interactive experiences.
  • For example, NBC Sports used Tagboard's software during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games to create polls and other interactive components for its broadcasts on cable and digital.
  • Founded in 2011 as a dashboard that aggregated posts from social media, the company's software has been used by more than 600 media brands, including TEGNA, CNN, NFL Network, Fox Sports, Turner Sports and E! Networks.

Details: The new funding will be used to hire and support international expansion, particularly to Europe, Peterson said.

  • It also will go toward research and development for its cloud infrastructure and products.
  • In addition to social media posts, Tagboard's software generates trackable QR codes to connect viewers to a second screen experience such as sports betting or a third-party store.
  • Peterson said Tagboard's goal is to help media companies be "much more efficient with their operational budgets."
  • "We enable people to produce from their couch if they need to. As long as you have an internet connection and a laptop, you can produce content," he said.
  • Tagboard plans to double its staff size of 40 employees over the next year or so.

By the numbers: Peterson declined to disclose annual revenue but said the company is profitable.

  • Tagboard has raised $5.7 million in two rounds of seed funding in 2013 ($2 million) and 2016 (the balance). Tagboard's top early investor was Keshif Ventures, led by early Facebook employee Taner Halicioglu.
  • "We've been, obviously, able to stand on our own two feet for a while. That's been important in terms of the efficiency and how we've grown the business," Peterson said.
  • The series A was co-led by Grayhawk Capital and Next Frontier Capital.
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group and Minnesota Vikings owners' WISE Ventures also participated in the funding round. Both Sinclair and the Vikings use Tagboard.

The bottom line: "Our thesis is that future producers are all people who are using Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and if we can create a software that is that easy to use, we would be able to give efficiency, flexibility," Peterson said.

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