Ashwin Navin
Bornc. 1977 (age 44–45)
NationalityIndian-American
Known forCEO and Co-founder Samba TV
RelativesAlvir Navin

Ashwin Navin is an Indian-American entrepreneur, who is the CEO and co-founder of Samba TV, a data and analytics service that measures television viewership using opt-in data from Internet-connected devices and set-top boxes. The company has been compared to more traditional TV measurement firms like Nielsen which rely on the people meter to gather viewership data.[1][2]

Prior to Samba TV, Navin was the president and co-founder of BitTorrent, Inc. He joined Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent, in 2004 and reportedly handled business and company-related matters while Cohen focused on engineering and product development.[3]

Navin reportedly evaluated Cohen's invention for Yahoo! in 2004. Although it was a notable development for the Internet, BitTorrent was widely considered to be the bane of the film industry, because it made the cost of transferring large files, including unlicensed film copies, negligible to the end user.

Navin is also an investor in SELFMADE, Collective, Invisible Commerce, Klarna, Cameo_(website), GGWP, Convoy Inc, Impossible Foods, vidIQ, Touch of Modern, Crunchyroll, and HappyCow.[4]

Early career

Navin is a 1999 graduate of Claremont McKenna College with a dual B.A. in government and economics. Before BitTorrent, he was employed at Yahoo! from 2002 to 2004 in its corporate development group which handled corporate strategy and acquisitions. Before Yahoo!, Navin worked on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch both as an investment banker and research analyst.[5]

In 2000, Navin helped start a technology-based financial services company called Epoch Partners. Epoch was essentially the investment banking arm of several online stock brokerages including Charles Schwab, Ameritrade, and TD Waterhouse. Epoch Partners was eventually acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2001.[5]

Commercializing BitTorrent

Ashwin Navin in 2007
Ashwin Navin in 2007

Cohen entrusted Navin with the responsibility of crafting a business model for BitTorrent with hopes of bringing BitTorrent out of the fringes and into the mainstream. Navin has assumed the public face of the company as an evangelist for its commercial viability. In 2007, Navin launched 3 commercial products: the BitTorrent Entertainment Network in February, the BitTorrent SDK in June, and BitTorrent DNA in October. As the foundation for these products, in 2006 Navin acquired uTorrent[6] which is the largest Torrent client in the world, outside China.[7][8]

To catalyze BitTorrent's commercialization, Navin began by engaging movie industry executives directly. Although predicted by many to be highly unlikely, BitTorrent has struck relationships with many major media companies including Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, MTV, Lionsgate, Kadokawa Pictures, and some others.[9][10]

Beyond copyright issues, BitTorrent also faced struggles with cable companies and ISPs which were overwhelmed with high volumes of P2P traffic on their networks. In the wake of FCC hearings that pitted Comcast and BitTorrent against each other for traffic management policies that inhibited P2P file transfers, Navin was responsible for striking a deal with Comcast that resolved the companies' differences and defused a contested issue in the Network Neutrality debate.[11]

Founding Samba TV

After leaving BitTorrent, Navin founded Samba TV in 2008 (at the time called Flingo) with the vision of developing software for Smart TVs. The initial goal was to help media companies like Showtime, FOX, A+E Networks, TMZ, Revision3, PBS and CBS develop TV apps that synchronize with linear Broadcast programming and Non-linear media.[12]

In 2011, the company launched its patented automatic content recognition technology, which uses video fingerprinting to identify on-screen content and power cross-screen interactive TV apps on Smart TVs.[13]

Mark Cuban, August Capital and Gary Lauder led Samba TV's first round of l funding at CES in 2012.[14] And, in 2013, with the Samba TV name, the company launched the first cross-screen advertising solution tied to real-time contextual awareness of what's on a Smart TV screen within a household.[15]

In 2017, Inc Magazine named Samba TV one of the fastest-growing companies in America.[16] In 2020, Samba TV publicly confirmed that it crossed over $100M in revenue for the 2019 fiscal year and published its path for continued global expansion.[17]

References

  1. ^ "Samba TV Takes on Nielsen With Promise of Real-Time Trend Ratings". TheWrap. 22 October 2014.
  2. ^ "MarTech Interview with Ashwin Navin, CEO and Co-Founder, Samba TV". MarTech. 20 April 2019.
  3. ^ Leadership, Senate Democratic. "Inside i/o Ventures: Tour The Central Perk For Code (TCTV)". TechCrunch.
  4. ^ "Ashwin Navin on LinkedIn". Archived from the original on 2007-10-30.
  5. ^ a b "Ashwin Navin | VMA Media". vmamedia.com.
  6. ^ Schofield, Jack (8 December 2006). "BitTorrent buys uTorrent". Guardian technology blog. The Guardian. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  7. ^ Andre Yoskowitz (15 August 2009). "uTorrent remains top BitTorrent client". AfterDawn. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  8. ^ Ernesto (December 4, 2009). "Thunder Blasts uTorrent's Market Share Away". TorrentFreak. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  9. ^ "About Us - Partners - BitTorrent". 24 November 2007. Archived from the original on 24 November 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Today @ PC World BitTorrent Cuts Movie Deals". 22 May 2007. Archived from the original on 22 May 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  11. ^ "Comcast's P2P Conversion: I'll Believe It When I See Results - BusinessWeek". 16 January 2010. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ Edelsburg, Natan (November 30, 2011). "Flingo dives into social TV with synchronized TV apps". Archived from the original on 2012-07-09.
  13. ^ Swedlow, Tracy (July 7, 2011). "Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): Flingo, Hulu, ITU". Archived from the original on 2011-07-09.
  14. ^ "Flingo Gains Funding from Mark Cuban and Gary Lauder". Streaming Media Magazine. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  15. ^ White, Peter (November 13, 2013). "Samba TV takes connected TVs by storm". Archived from the original on 2017-08-30.
  16. ^ "Samba TV Acquires Screen6, Forming First Global OTT Measurement Solution". Benzinga. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  17. ^ Lafayette, Jon (2020-12-15). "Samba TV Gets Additional Viewer Data TiVo Households". Broadcasting Cable. Retrieved 2021-11-12.