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Samba TV: A Platform for the Next-Generation TV Experience


Samba TV is bringing some rhythm to your binge-watching TV routine!

With the rapid evolution of media, ensuring a quality TV experience for the viewers is becoming an increasingly demanding task for providers.

Striving to satisfy consumers’ needs, contemporary TV platforms have come a long way to create personalized recommendations for watching programs you’ll enjoy.

Alvir Navin, Ashwin Navin, and David Harrison had a vision of accurate and representative data at the heart of media when they founded Samba TV in 2008. The company has grown into a leading TV brand that serves as connective tissue in the global contemporary media environment.

Ever since its beginning years, Samba TV has been a crucial partner for advertisers equipped with a huge multisource TV dataset worldwide. The team led by the Navin brothers and David aims to leave a mark on the media landscape - and they’re succeeding.

Stick around to read all about the success story of Samba TV.

Portrait of the Entrepreneurs as Young Men

Samba TV is the brainchild of acclaimed entrepreneurs that have stood out in their environment since their young years.

Alvir Navin was gifted with natural communication skills and a knack for innovative solutions. Even as a young man, he was a born leader capable of acknowledging the goals of the people around him. Alvir is also a lifelong vegetarian-turned-vegan and an animal lover who started his career as a musician, which is proof of his creativity and ethical values.

His brother, Ashwin, was always able to charm his acquaintances with his ambition, talent, and natural entrepreneurial spirit. Ashwin’s outstanding persuasive skills and ability to handle conflict foreshadowed his fruitful years as a business innovator. He got his formal education in Claremont McKenna College, gaining a dual BA in Government and Economics in 1999.

David Harrison has a long and rich education portfolio under his sleeve - he graduated from the University of California, David BS in 1993, obtained a Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2002, and finished his academic journey at the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. His raw talent, firm sense of loyalty, and kind personality were an important addition to his academic brilliance.

The Professional Portfolios

Long before the founding of Samba TV, Alvir Navin started his career as a professional musician. Afterward, he acquired his major professional experience in a world phenomenon known as BitTorrent.

There, he was responsible for understanding the specific needs of business partners and creating effective solutions in terms of securing media and advertising partnerships. As an early employee of the company, Alvir dealt with marketing relations with several TV, music, and film publishers.

Furthermore, Alvir Navin was one of the founders of a leading healthcare venture capital and private equity company, Carrot Capital.

His brother Ashwin started his professional journey by contributing to the founding team of a technology-based startup called Epoch Partners in 2000. The company served as an investment banking partner to a few online stock brokerages before its quick acquisition by Goldman Sachs.

From 2002 to 2004, Ashwin worked in Yahoo! on the company’s acquisitions and corporate strategy as a member of its corporate development team. After that, he co-founded and served as president of BitTorrent, Inc. While the inventor of BitTorrent, Bram Cohen, was responsible for engineering and product development, Ashwin took care of all other company-related issues.

Another important part of Ashwin’s career in the media industry was his job position as an advisor in Mochi Media.

The addition to the sibling duo, David Harrison, started his career as a post-doctoral research engineer at UC Berkeley right after completing his academic goals, after which he was a lecturer and graduate research assistant at RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).

Just like the Navin brothers, David, too was an essential part of BitTorrent, serving as a Senior Engineer from 2005 to 2009. As a part of that role, he was responsible for creating a video streaming protocol meant for the company’s peer-to-peer CDN.

The Rise of a Leading TV Brand

Alvir and Ashwin Navin teamed up with David Harrison and created a company they initially named Flingo in 2008, in San Francisco. The purpose of the platform was to assist prominent media companies (such as FOX, Showtime, TMZ, PBS, and CBS) in developing Smart TV apps compatible with non-linear media and linear broadcasting programming technology.

At the beginning of 2012, the company introduced one-click sharing of television content on social media like Facebook and Twitter. A year later, the interactive platform got the name Samba TV.

In its essence, Samba TV is an intuitive and analytic advertising company that creates software compatible with smartphones, tablets, and televisions. Thanks to its outstanding technology, this brand emerges as one of the leading broadcasting and TV innovations in the contemporary market.

Samba TV’s original full tech stack includes a large multi-source television panel that outranks legacy measurement systems. With its revolutionary OmniScreen advertising, Samba TV is a trustworthy source of truth in today’s industry.

Establishing Capital and Partnerships

14 years after its glorious launch, Samba TV has acquired more than $40 million in capital.

The first major Series A finding round occurred in the first quarter of 2012 with Samba TV gaining $7 million from August Capital as the main investor. Later that year, additional investors such as Marc Cuban and Gary Lauder closed the investment round at $8 million.

In April 2015, Samba TV was the target of strategic investment in a Series B funding round from the Interpublic Group. As a result, the company acquired $30 million in capital from investors including industry Goliaths like Disney, Warner Media, Liberty Global, A+E Networks, and Union Grove Venture Partners.

In 2020, the Samba TV team announced that the platform gained $100 million in capital in the previous fiscal year and emphasized the ambition for global expansion. The brand is a proud data and analytics partner to Google, Twitter, Catalina, and Tradedesk.

Innovation Makes Media Go Round

As of today, Samba TV has covered 28 million devices in the United States and a sum total of 46 million devices worldwide. Over 30 million users in 118 countries have access to Samba TV’s applications.

For its media insights, the brand uses the most reliable sources of viewership data across digital media, cable, over-the-top, and broadcast. In 2011, Samba TV launched its ACR service for accurate recognition of the on-screen content in real-time.

2021 was a fruitful year for the creative spirit of Samba TV’s team. In January, the company launched Picture Perfect℠ - an AI technology feature that serves to advance picture quality during broadcasts of live sports, online games, movies, etc.

Later that year, Samba TV launched another innovation, SambaID - an original identity solution that offers TV platforms, marketers, and publishers a way of mutual transactions with the usage of different optimal currencies.

Samba TV of Today

Today, Samba TV has its headquarters in San Francisco, California, and employs around 500 people. The creative minds who came up with this project in 2008 are still vital in the company’s hierarchy - Ashwin Navin serves as Samba TV’s CEO and his brother Alvir is Vice President of Operation.

In the 2021 Adweek Readers’ Choice: Best of Tech Partner Awards, Samba TV was proclaimed as “Best in Measurement Solutions”, which proves the company’s favorable position on the market.

Personalizing and upgrading the TV experience for every consumer is at the heart of the brand’s mission. In the future, Samba TV’s team strives to make binge-watching even more pleasurable by providing accurate recommendations for streaming programs and even video games.

With Samba TV, you won’t regret a minute of your free time spent indoors!