On the ground during Fort Hood shooting

April 2, 2014

From the moment it happened, Banjo has been collecting every social post coming out of Fort Hood, TX, where an active shooter was reported on one of the US’s largest military bases. At this time, officials have confirmed four dead and 14 injured. Personnel on base are tweeting their status to loved ones, while the first reporters to the scene relay all of the information they can get. Only Banjo has all of these updates in on place, across networks, in real time.

Use the live feed below to see every live tweet, Facebook post, Instagram, and more, coming right from the source.

Banjo Raises $16 Million In Series B Funding

March 14, 2014

Banjo is proud to announce the completion of a $16 million Series B financing round, which marks an important milestone in our journey to become the world’s destination for experiencing breaking news and live events in real time through the eyes of the people there.

The round was led Balderton Capital, with significant support from our Series A leader, BlueRun Ventures, as well as participation from VegasTechFund, Shelter Capital, Control Room, Maven Ventures, Mike McGinely and Harris Barton.

Our mailboxes and social media feeds were flooded with congratulatory messages as the news of our funding was announced on influential news outlets like TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal and Re/Code. Thank you for your continued support throughout the last three years of this adventure.

This funding will accelerate our ambitious growth plans by recruiting top talent, expanding the global user base and enhancing the enterprise platform for media partnerships. It comes at an already exciting time for Banjo, following last week’s release of the version 4.1 mobile app, move to web and new feature called Banjo Rewind, which is doing for the internet what TiVo did for television.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and add us to your G+ Circles to stay up to date on new and exciting developments from Banjo.

You Asked For It, We Built it: Banjo For Web Is Here

March 11, 2014

Drumroll please… We are proud to announce the newest iteration of our social content platform: Banjo for web. Now you can see what’s happening at any live or past event from your browser, as well as in the Banjo mobile app. This version, currently in beta, allows you to easily discover live music, sports, news, conferences, and more, to experience the most relevant social content on the web.

Social sharing options are conveniently located above each feed, so you can quickly show your friends what they’re missing around the world. Banjo’s web version doesn’t require you to sign up or create an account – just type ban.jo into your browser to start exploring. This means that our global audience has even easier access to Banjo’s awesomely curated content – no smartphone required. Whether you never want to miss a One Direction concert, or are looking for the perfect second screen during March Madness, Banjo’s web app gives you the same great insider’s view that our app offers.

We also released an updated version of our iOS and Android apps this weekend. The main difference that you’ll notice is the addition of editorial content. These new features – headlines and Banjo Rewind posts – will help you to get an immediate and complete understanding of a live event through our mobile app as well as our new web version.

The “headline” that now appears at the top of each feed gives you an immediate understanding of that event – no more searching around to get the essential info. Tap a headline to explore the Banjo Rewind feed and begin time-travelling through the event. Banjo Rewind posts act as bookmarks throughout a feed, highlighting the most important and noteworthy moments that occurred. These “bookmarks” let you go back in time and see the social feed, across networks, from that point in time.

The creation of the web version has been a whirlwind from idea to execution. It’s by no means perfect, but we’re excited about what this beta version means for our users around the world. Our Founder and CEO, Damien, loves “brutally honest feedback (that’s why we launched at South By Southwest)” and encourages you to send your thoughts to him personally at Damien.Patton@teambanjo.com.

Banjo Named “Fastest Moving Startup in Silicon Valley” By Wired

March 6, 2014

This is an article that appeared today in Wired Italy. It was written by Staff Editor, Maurizio Pesce, and was published in Italian. The English translation is below. You can see the original story here.

Banjo, the fastest startup in Silicon Valley

The first night of the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, I was thinking about how to show the story of the Opening Ceremony in a different way: not the usual gallery to go to during or after, nor the usual embedded live stream. There were not a lot of alternatives around.

Until I remembered Banjo.


(Above: Banjo team)

If you’re not familiar with it, Banjo is an app that aggregates content by topic based on location: every day, an editorial team selects the most important events to follow and displays them on the homepage. As I write, for example, I might choose to scroll through all the content related to football friendlies, the Rio Carnival, the protests in Kiev or the situation in Crimea (two different feeds, not a single disorganized fray), but also concerts like the Dropkick Murphys in Birmingham, Queens of the Stone Age in Sydney and so on. And if I want to see something different, I can always do a search for other events or places to see what people in that location are tweeting. For example, I usually go to see what they are sharing in Genoa, for the sake of keeping in touch with my city.

Anyhow.

Some time ago I had the pleasure of meeting the CEO, Damien Patton, in person. At Mobile World Congress last year, we had a nice chat and since then we have kept in touch. Banjo is much more than a second-screen app: “You can’t see everything using only the TV, and sometimes the event that you want to follow isn’t on TV,” he told me. “And you can not grasp everything on social networks, because they do not take you to the location, and because even if you know what to look for, there are simply too many things – and I do not even want to talk about hashtags: every event has 50 different hashtags and you never know which will be the best to follow. How do you put together all the information that is shared online in real time, then? You can’t. ” And you never will. Here is where Banjo and its magic come into play.

Let’s go back to last month.

I was saying I remembered Banjo. My idea was to ask them to collect all the real-time content, in order for us to be able to offer a live feed of the event through photos and videos posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Vine by those who were actually at the stadium. The feed streaming on my smartphone could be shared on social networks with a link: so perhaps an embeddable link could also be created. So I opened Facebook chat to ask where I could find that code. I was thinking about something similar to what Banjo did on NBC, but that would be inserted directly into an article for Wired.it.

Damien is a direct and accessible person and is completely different from what you would expect from the boss of a company that is growing fast, pulling in millions of dollars in funding, and being approached by Google today and by Twitter tomorrow. You may also have heard him tell the story of Banjo at Wired Next Fest, if you happened to be in Milan a year ago. So I write to him on Facebook: “Can I embed a feed of Banjo in a WordPress page?”.

In less than a minute, I received a response.

Technically, he explained, it was possible, but it was a feature that had not yet been developed. They had thought about it, but it was not yet ready, and they were thinking of launching it later. But you know what? The Winter Olympics on Wired.it could be a great experiment. From Facebook we switched to Skype, chatting with one of his programmers (hi, Corey). Less than an hour passed from the beginning of the chat to the creation of the html code designed to embed the live broadcast of the opening ceremony.

Lo and behold, I had never seen such a fast reaction to a request. Dreamed of it, yes, but seen it, no.

Everything wasn’t perfect, but the result was exactly as we had thought: a live feed of content by those who were at the stadium. And it took us to a new Skype chat with Corey – who meanwhile was at the airport on his laptop, ready for the weekend – to fix the automatic refresh of the feed, which wasn’t working.

The result was here, on the homepage the next day.

And the story ends here. It can be an anecdote or a inspiration for anyone who has an idea and wants to achieve it: the world of technology moves fast, so you need the ability to adapt quickly, to keep up with the challenges, to seize the opportunities. We use the tools we have available to stay in touch, to look for knowledgeable people who can help us: some would say, “networking facilitates the movement of ideas (and runs the economy).” You may as well “network” and win it all.

Thanks Team Banjo, mission accomplished.