80% of all internet bandwidth is consumed by video streaming. Today’s consumers of content expect low latency and multi-device playback. Transcoding is the process where videos are formatted to work properly across device ecosystems. This becomes an expensive proposition for content creators. Livepeer is a scalable open video infrastructure that’s built on the blockchain to specifically use excess GPU capacity across nodes to transcode video. By leveraging decentralization, costs are reduced and reliability is improved without the threat of any outages that are associated with dependency on larger infrastructure providers like YouTube, Facebook AWS, etc. The Livepeer network has 70K+ GPUS, enough computing power to encode all video streaming on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook combined while delivering costs savings of up to 50x. AlleyWatch caught up with Livepeer CEO Doug Petkanics to learn more about how decentralization of the streaming market will lead to a better experience for all parties, the company’s expansions plans, acquisition strategy, recent round of funding from investors that include Alan Howard and Tiger Global.
Frame.io, a video creation and collaboration platform, has agreed to be acquired by Adobe in a transaction that values the business at $1.275B.
Parsec, a platform that allows users to remotely access virtual machines and their powerful PCs from any device without any noticeable latency, has been acquired by Unity Technologies, a publicly traded platform for creating and operating real-time 3D content. The transaction is structured as an all-cash deal totaling $320M. “
When the live game-show HQ debuted in 2017 it was an instant hit with millions of users signing on concurrently to take a chance at winning in trivia. Although the company did not ultimately survive, the success of a new form of interactive entertainment did not go unnoticed. This NYC startup takes it a step further by focusing on the intersection of gaming, streaming, game shows, and broadcasting. Genvid is a technology infrastructure provider and now publisher focused on what the company calls massive interactive live events (MILEs). The company initially focused on building infrastructure tools for interactive streaming but saw there was a significant opportunity on the publishing side. For its first experience, it partnered up with Pipeworks Studios for Rival Peak, a 24/7 interactive reality show with AI characters participating in an elimination-style competition that was broadcasted on Facebook. Following the popularity of this new format, the company is now planning on building more MILEs both internally and with licensed IP owners as partners. Genvid will also continue to provide the infrastructure tools through its SDK for others to build their own MILEs.
AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Jacob Navok to learn more about the inspiration for the business, how the company has created a new category of entertainment, strategic plans, and latest round of funding from investors that include Valor Equity Partners, Atreides Management, Galaxy Interactive, Horizons Ventures, OCA Ventures, and Makers Fund, Valor, Atreides, Third Point, Cobalt Capital, LightShed Ventures, XN, and Lux Capital.
Online content consumption has doubled since the start of COVID from 3 hours and 17 minutes to just under 7 hours a day according to DoubleVerify. Online video consumption is said to have quadrupled. JW Player is a leading video infrastructure software platform that allows content producers to control, manage, and measure their mobile, OTT, and web video applications. The player is also now equipped with monetization options for video publishers that are coupled with the company’s data analytics that offers advertisers precision targeting options. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Dave Otten to learn more about how the company has evolved from an open-source solution that was used to power the initial YouTube platform, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding from LLR Partners.
The pandemic led to renewed interest in many childhood collectibles like baseball cards as we had more time to spend at home to sort through old boxes. At the same time, there was a meteoric rise of blockchain-based technologies using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to create a new class of digital assets. Infinite Objects takes moving images or videos and offers a unique way to display these creations, whether for an NFT, personal library, or licensing deal. Physically, the company offers one physical display that is always tied to a single video. Behind the scenes, this display comes with complete provenance and authenticity, making it unique. Custom video prints start at $79 and come in either 5” or 7” displays that play videos up to 24-hours in length. Infinite Objects’ marketplace also features several video prints in limited runs from emerging artists. As the popularity of NFTs continues, we expect that Infinite Objects will be well-positioned to serve this market as an infrastructure play. AlleyWatch caught up with Founder Joseph Saavedra to learn more about the inspiration for the business, strategic plans, and recent round of funding from investors that include Courtside VC, Serena Ventures, Fuel Capital, Advancit Capital, Betaworks, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, GFR Fund, Dapper Labs, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman, cofounders at Thirty Five Ventures, Genies, Sound Ventures, Scott Belsky, ThankYouX, and Shawn Mendes.
The average gamer spends eight hours and 27 minutes playing games, which represents a 14% increase over 2020. User-generated content platforms like Youtube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. have led to the meteoric rise of new media creators. Allstar sits at the intersection of these two prominent trends. It’s a platform built for gamers that allows them to capture their favorite gaming moments, distribute this content, and build followings. Allstar is completely cloud-based without the need for any specialized or costly hardware and is currently offered as a freemium product with premium features coming soon. It currently supports CS:GO and Dota 2 with titles like Fortnite, League of Legends, Rainbow6, and Valorant in the roadmap. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Nick Cuomo to learn more about how his experience as a gamer led to the vision to turn gamers into content creators, the company’s strategic plans, recent round of funding from investors that include New York Angels, Studio.vc, J-Ventures, and Emerging Ventures, Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York, Miami Angels, Gaingels, Sand Hill Angels, and several individual investors.
Zoom fatigue is real; so much so that researchers at the Virtual Human Interaction Lab out of Stanford (yes, this is a real institute) have come up with Zoom Exhaustion and Fatigue Scale. A growing number of startups have entered the space with creative twists on how to make video chatting more engaging. Kumospace has built an immersive video chat platform that focuses on spatiality that traditional video chatting platforms do not offer. Taking elements inspired by the gaming industry, Kumospace offers a video chatting experience that is more reflective of real-world interactions where multiple conversations are going on in the same space simultaneously. This functionality serves groups wells and can be used for video calls, virtual happy hours, meetups, or even holiday parties. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Brett Martin to learn more about the future of video calls, the inspiration for the venture, and latest round of funding led by Boldstart Ventures.
Dubsmash, the video-sharing social app that’s been named a rival to TikTok, has been acquired by Reddit. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Millennials are watching less sports than previous generations. Bo Han, a former Twitter employee, is building Buzzer to make sports more accessible and flexible for sports fans, when and how they want it. The platform delivers what’s dubbed as “short-form live” content that allows fans to leverage their existing subscriptions or through nominal micropayments to view live games. Han was kind enough to join us to share more about the experience of fundraising during a time there were no live sports, his offer to return capital to investors during the pandemic in the wake of uncertainty, the company’s future plans, and recent round from notable investors that include Lerer Hippeau, Sapphire Sport, R&R Venture Partners, Imagination Captial, Anthony Noto, Richard Parsons, and Grace Kim.
COVID-19 has left us longing for human connection even if it’s through video chat. This is no different for gamers. Multiplayer games are the new social networks. And in these trying times where we are isolated from each other, games are how people are choosing to spend time with friends. Bunch, is an integrated video chatting app that allows gamers to video chat in real-time with fellow gamers and friends. CEO and Cofounder Selçuk Atli walks us through how the company has grown the user base 50x since March and the company’s $20M Series A round from investors that include General Catalyst, Electronic Arts, Krafton (PUBG), mixi, Take-Two Interactive Software, Ubisoft, Supercell, Riot Games, Miniclip, COLOPL, LVP, Northzone, Streamlined Ventures, Konvoy Ventures, OneTeam Ventures, Velo Partners, Golden Venture Partners, and Alven Capital Partners.