Boulder startup Stream lands $1.75M in funding to fuel feed technology

BOULDER — Stream.io Inc., has raised a seed round of funding to boost its development tools that help companies drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to build feeds for their mobile apps and websites.

Boulder-based Stream, founded a year ago but Thierry Schellenbach and Tommaso Barbugli, raised $1.75 million from a group of investors that includes Brad Feld/FG Angels, Techstars Ventures and Tahoma Ventures, among others.

The past few months have been fast-paced for Stream, to say the least. After landing a $50,000 deal with a Taiwanese social media site last year, Stream went through the Techstars New York accelerator. While participating in Techstars, the company officially launched its platform out of beta. Since that time, Stream’s customer count has grown from four to 125. After graduating from Techstars, the company moved to Boulder about two months ago.

“It’s been an exciting couple of months,” Schellenbach said in a phone interview this week.

Stream’s software is a tool for building, scaling and personalizing feeds much like those you might see on Facebook and Twitter. But what started out as a usage pattern for social media has quickly spread to all kinds of companies’ mobile apps. GlobalCitizens.org, which rallies friends and groups of people around social causes, is one such organization that uses Stream’s platform to build its feeds.

“They have a lot of content to share with their users, and they want to give their users some control over what they see,” Schellenbach said.

The trouble for many companies is that building their own feed technology can take months because they’re generally doing so from scratch. Stream’s fee-based service, Schellenbach said, can help companies build the same feeds within their apps in as little as a few hours.

Schellenbach and Barbugli co-authored the open-source Stream-Framework, a set of tools anyone can use to build feeds. But their new company has made the tools compatible with more programming languages and increased ease of use.

Schellenbach said that with the new funding the company would be hiring developers and data scientists to give companies that use Stream’s tools the ability to scale their feeds to large numbers of users, as well as personalize the feeds to individual users so that they see the information most relevant or interesting to them rather than just a chronological feed.

“The goal there is to bring that personalization area, that was traditionally available only to large organizations like Facebook, to other apps with feeds,” Schellenbach said.

Stream, which is based in downtown Boulder, has five employees now, including the founders. Schellenbach said he expects that count to climb to between 12 and 15 by year’s end.