Peel Technologies

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Industry Software
Founded 2009; 9 years ago (2009)
Founder Bala Krishnan
Thiru Arunachalam
Headquarters Mountain View, California, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Thiru Arunachalam (CEO)
Bala Krishnan (CPO)

Peel is a startup company based in Mountain View, California, USA, that sells a smart TV remote app/malware called Peel Smart Remote for smartphones and tablets; it claims more than 120 million user activations though this is mostly due to auto downloads, the real people who use it are in heavy decline due to the overwhelming advertisements and battery drain which causes permanent damage to mobile devices.[1] The company’s patent-pending Peel-In technology allows users to tune in directly to a TV show or movie, record the show on their DVR, set up a calendar reminder or share with contacts by clicking a promotional banner.[2][3]


Peel was launched in 2009 by current CEO Thiru Arunachalam[4] and co-founder Bala Krishnan, who serves as chief product officer.[5] Peel built a user base of 25 million during its first few years of operation and then more than tripled to over 70 million in the subsequent year due to agreements with major devices manufacturers Samsung[6] and HTC[7] to include Peel as a preloaded app. In 2015 Peel has claimed that their app generated over 100 billion remote commands with over 120 million registered users.[8]

Peel Smart Remote[edit]

Peel claims to allow users to turn smartphones or tablets into a smart remote control for televisions, set top boxes, digital video recorders (DVRs) and other devices. It also allows users to browse on the app for content to watch and learns viewing habits to enable the platform to deliver personalized recommendations. Users can interact with friends and other TV viewers via the app.[9] The platform provides TV networks with a way to promote their programming to consumers, who can use the app to tune into shows, record programming or get viewing reminders.[2]

Peel's investors include Redpoint Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Harrison Metal and TransLink Capital, from which it has raised a combined 45 million dollars.[1] More recently, following an initial amount of 5 million dollars, Chinese internet giant Alibaba has invested 50 million dollars in Peel as of June, 2014.[10]

According to company co-founder Bala Krishnan, Peel is compatible with 98 percent of all consumer electronics, including 3,500 TV brands and 600 set top box types.[5] Peel can be downloaded as an iOS or Android app. It is integrated with Samsung and HTC devices for delivery to device purchasers as a preloaded app.[4] On Samsung devices it is called “WatchOn” or “Smart Remote.” On HTC it is called “SenseTV” or “TV.” As of August 2015 “WatchOn” and “Smart Remote” have been renamed to Peel Smart Remote. Peel completes an average of 30 billion remote control actions per month.[11] The app works in over 200 countries and delivers program guides in 110 countries.[5]

In 2017, the Peel Remote Android app received strong criticism from many users who complained about the app forcing ads onto the devices lock screen. These ads would override the sleep mode of a device and drain the battery as well as interfering with other normal operations. [12]

In July 2018, the Pronto Peel app was removed from the Apple store. Peel Technologies provided no customer support. They periodically would change their site so customers could still purchase the IR blaster. Knowing full well the app was not working in most iOS devices.


  1. ^ a b Del Rey, Jason (October 9, 2014). "Alibaba Invests $50 Million in TV Remote App Peel". re/code. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Roettgers, Janko (May 22, 2014). "Peel’s new ads let you change the channel on your TV". GigaOm. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  3. ^ Flomenbaum, Adam (June 17, 2014). "With its Expansion into China, Peel’s 300 Million Device Goal is in Reach". Lost Remote. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Truong, Alice. "Peel the app that turns your devices into remote controls hits 50 million activations". Fast Company. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Robinson, James (March 13, 2014). "50 million users strong, Peel’s smart remote looks to stay ahead of the TV game". PandoDaily. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  6. ^ "Galaxy Gear Smart Remote app allows TV control through IR sensor on Galaxy Note 3/S4". Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  7. ^ Hardawar, Devindra (August 29, 2013). "Peel reaches 25M users for its TV remote control apps — grabbed 10M in just one quarter". Venture Beat. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  8. ^ "Peel Tops 100 Billion Remote Commands". Retrieved September, 2015.
  9. ^ Ha, Anthony (March 12, 2012). "Social TV App Peel Adds Real-Time Cheering To American Idol". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  10. ^ Chapman, Lizette (October 9, 2014). "Alibaba Invests $50 Million in Peel to Take Remote-Control App Beyond TV". Wall Street Journal Venture Capital Dispatch. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  11. ^ (October 9, 2014). "Alibaba Invests $50 Million in TV-Remote App Startup Peel". MONEYNEWS.COM. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  12. ^ Whitwam, Ryan(March 29, 2017). "Peel remote app upsets users with a ton of ads and lock screen overlays". Retrieved Sept 12, 2017.

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