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Interactive TV startup Disruptel raises $1.15 million in seed capital

Interactive TV startup Disruptel raises $1.15 million in seed capital

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Disruptel, a St. Louis startup that answers viewers' questions about the content they see on television, has raised $1.15 million in seed capital.

The funding round was led by two Boston-based funds, PJC and Progress Ventures. It also includes some individual investors with strong industry connections: Mike Baker and Bill Simmons, whose DataXu technology was acquired by Roku; Adam Cheyer, who co-founded the voice assistant Siri that was acquired by Apple; and Andrew Olsen, who helped develop Xfinity TV.

Disruptel said it would use the money to keep developing its artificial intelligence engine, which automatically identifies actors appearing on a screen and answers a viewer's questions about the content.

"Disruptel has created a unique experience that TV-watching audiences can't live without," Cheyer said in a statement. "Once you're accustomed to asking questions about the moment you are seeing on the screen, any other experience feels like a TV from a hundred years ago."

Alex Quinn, Disruptel's chief executive, said he founded the company in 2017 "to make the TV viewing experience better for me and for my friends." He said the technology would create revenue opportunities through non-intrusive advertising.

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