Hiro Capital announces its second deal with a lead Series A investment in Prague-based LIV, the breakthrough VR streaming platform;
LIV is a next-generation game streaming platform, built to empower Virtual Reality streamers and game stream audiences to interact with each other in fun and meaningful ways – https://liv.tv/;
LIV’s proprietary technology turns stream viewers from passive spectators into active participants in the game and brings the streamer’s real-world moving body into the live digital VR stream;
LIV connects Game Developers, Streamers and Audiences to create the ultimate VR spectator experiences
Hiro Capital and LIV first connected at Slush Helsinki in November 2018, and are pleased to announce this Series A investment concurrent with Slush 2019.
This Series A round includes co-investment from leading Central European technology VC Credo Ventures and London-based Seedcamp;
LIV – the Mixed Reality game streaming platform – has secured $2.6m in funding to expand its development team in order to accelerate its revolutionary streaming technology and integrate more third-party games studios.
The Series A funding round has been led by Hiro Capital – the new 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’s first Streaming/Esports investment.
LIV was Seed funded by leading technology Seed investors Seedcamp (London), Techstars (Los Angeles) and Credo Ventures (Prague) together with Jaroslav Beck from Beat Games and VR legend Palmer Luckey, the creator of Oculus Rift. Credo Ventures and Seedcamp are also participating in this Series A round alongside Hiro.
LIV was founded in 2016 by AJ Shewki (Dr Doom), Steffan “Ruu” Donal and friends – a team of ex-competitive gamers, Twitch streamers, game developers and nerds who tried early VR HMDs and became convinced of VR’s huge potential in the future of Entertainment and Esports. Yet when they tried to broadcast their adventures in VR, they found the spectator experience was broken.
“The tools used for broadcasting traditional PC games couldn’t show the intensity of what we were experiencing as players” says Dr Doom, 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.”
Doom continues: “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.
“Our next releases will add dynamic lighting, progression systems and other cool features as the LIV Play platform becomes a massive scale MMO for live gaming spectator-ship. We are obsessed with creating shared hybrid game experiences where audiences play an integral role in the success of the streamer’s game. We’re super pleased to bring in investors like Hiro, Credo and Seedcamp who share our vision of the future”
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. Doom 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.
“At Hiro, we believe in Digital to Real World Convergence and we like tech that brings these worlds together, getting people out of their seats in creative communities. LIV delivers on these values and our team is looking forward to working with Doom and team as they take LIV into the future.”
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 – Doom 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.”