LG buys stake in TV data firm Alphonso for $80M

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LG will continue to operate Alphonso as an independent business. (LG)

LG Electronics is investing nearly $80 million for a controlling stake in TV data company Alphonso in a move to drive innovations for its smart TV lineup.

LG said it plans to use Alphonso’s software and services – including data analytics, media planning and activation, and artificial intelligence capabilities – with its home entertainment products to boost content recommendations and LG Channels, the company’s ad-supported streaming service. LG said it wants to “create a robust owned and operated first-screen, cross-device advertising platform with integrated analytics platform for LG TVs and the smart TV marketplace as a whole.”

The infusion of cash for Alphonso follows its first Series A investment round of $5.6 million in 2017, led by Manifest Investment Partners. Alphonso will continue to operate as an independent business under its current brand and leadership based in Silicon Valley.

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“Our investment in Alphonso is a key component of our digital transformation strategy focusing on AI, big data and cloud to fundamentally change how consumers interact with their devices,” said Park Hyoung-sei, president of the LG Home Entertainment Company, in a statement. “With Alphonso’s TV data analysis capabilities, LG will be able to better fulfill consumers’ needs by providing even more customized services and content to consumers. We are proud to welcome Alphonso to the LG family.”

“LG and Alphonso have a shared vision for advancing the smart TV ecosystem through innovative software and services oriented toward modern new consumer experiences on one end, and highly flexible, lucrative advertising, planning, and measurement offerings for brands, agencies, and broadcasters on the other,” said Ashish Chordia, founder and CEO of Alphonso, in a statement. “Becoming part of LG Electronics gives Alphonso the backing of one of the world’s leaders in home entertainment products, with access to a massive global inventory of connected TV screens. We can now maximize our mutual impact on the TV marketplace as we bring our products together and deliver immense value for the ecosystem.”