Google, Hearst Invest in Miso Real-time, Social IPG

MULTIPLE CITIES: Location-based social media established the idea of a social network based around “check ins,” but Google Ventures and Hearst Interactive are betting that the idea is moving beyond shared locations to shared viewing.

At the end of 2010, Bazaar Labs closed its Series A round of seeking venture capital funding for Miso, raising $1.5 million from Google Ventures, Hearst Interactive Media and other investors. Google was one an early seed funder of Miso.

Miso is a social network based on the idea of letting people know what television programs and movies a user is watching in real time.

“While the last year was focused on building a ‘check-in’ foundation, in 2011, we will create more ways for people to engage around the second screen, secure more partnerships, and lead innovation around the intersection of social, TV, and the second screen,” stated Bazaar Labs CEO and founder Somrat Niyogi. “We are 100 percent focused on making TV watching better by making it more social, more useful, and more fun.”

With their investment, Joe Kraus from Google Ventures and Scott Wolfgang from Hearst Interactive Media will join the Miso board of directors.

Miso launched in early 2010 and is now approaching 100,000 users, who check into the site via the Miso website or Android, iPhone or iPad apps.

Niyogi also announced the introduction of a Miso API, which will allow connected TV and set-top box manufacturers and Web developers to add Miso check-in capabilities to their own apps.