November 29, 2019 – Mixed Reality game streaming platform, LIV, has recently secured USD $2.6 million in funding to expand its development team in order to accelerate its streaming technology and integrate more third-party games studios.
The Series A funding round was led by Hiro Capital – a Games, Esports/Streaming and Sports technology VC Fund led by Inspired Entertainment co-founder Luke Alvarez, Games Workshop co-founder Ian Livingstone CBE and Cherry Freeman, co-founder of LoveCrafts. LIV is Hiro Capital’s first Streaming/Esports investment.
LIV was founded in 2016 by a team of ex-competitive gamers, Twitch streamers, and game developers who saw the potential of VR in the future of entertainment and Esports, and who had an aim of improving the spectator experience for VR game streaming.
The company was initially seed funded by technology seed investors Seedcamp (London), Techstars (Los Angeles) and Credo Ventures (Prague) together with Jaroslav Beck from Beat Games (which was recently acquired by Facebook) and Palmer Luckey, the creator of Oculus Rift. Credo Ventures and Seedcamp are also participating in this Series A round alongside Hiro Capital.
“The tools used for broadcasting traditional PC games couldn’t show the intensity of what we were experiencing as players” said AJ Shewki, CEO and co-founder of LIV. “In VR, your body is the controller and that’s part of the magic. As a player, you are fully immersed in VR, but unless we can show the player’s body interacting with their VR environment, the 2D stream audience is missing out. And that’s how we got started — we wanted to level up the VR spectator experience.”
He continued, “Our mission at LIV is to connect Game Developers, Streamers and Audiences to create the very best VR spectator experiences. We are now in full swing, with hundreds of VR games integrated, (including from leading developers like Beat Games, Cloudhead Games and Survios), thousands of VR streamers (like Ragesaq and VROasis) and billions of views to date of LIV-powered game streams on Twitch, Mixer, YouTube etc.”
Luke Alvarez, Managing Partner of Hiro, said: “Hiro is excited to be investing in LIV as our Fund’s second deal and as our first in Esports/Streaming. [Shewki] and his team are super smart, passionate gamers and streamers, living and breathing in the Mixed Reality world which they are empowering with LIV. While the VR market is still small, the streaming audience is huge.
Ondrej Bartos, Partner at Credo Ventures, said: “VR has been a promising space for quite a while, and we believe it is exactly the kind of tech that LIV is bringing that will be vital to unlock the potential of the market. We at Credo are also big believers in founder market fit which in this case definitely is there – [Shewki] and his team are bringing a solution that they as gamers and streamers needed, and as the current uptake shows they were not alone. We don’t see too many teams as passionate, experienced and competent as LIV.”
According to LIV, it’s next releases will add dynamic lighting, progression systems and other features as the LIV Play platform becomes a massive scale MMO for live gaming spectator-ship. The company added that it wants to create shared hybrid game experiences where audiences play an integral role in the success of the streamer’s game.
Video credit: LIV/YouTube