The round also included participation from existing Caffeine investors Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners, as well as other undisclosed partners. Along with the funding, Caffeine also announced a deal with Live Nation to bring live music concerts to the social broadcast platform in the fourth quarter of this year.
The total investment for Fox is $100 million for Caffeine and a newly formed venture called Caffeine Studios that is jointly owned by Fox Sports and Caffeine. The new studio, which resembles the popular, Amazon-owned Twitch will deliver exclusive esports, video game, sports, and live entertainment content for Caffeine’s platform.
With the investment, Fox executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch will join Caffeine’s board.
The deals have come steadily for New Fox — the remainder company including the broadcast network, stations, Fox News and FS1 — ahead of the expected close early next year of Disney’s acquisition of its film and TV studios and other network and digital assets. Just yesterday, the company reportedly acquired rights to boxing, on the heels of multi-billion-dollar rights agreements for NFL football and pro wrestling.
“The combination of the Caffeine platform with a content studio that benefits from Fox Sports’ expertise in live events and programming will help position Caffeine to deliver compelling experiences in esports, video gaming and entertainment,” Murdoch said. “We are excited to partner with Caffeine and build something special for fans in the growing live social streaming esports and gaming space.”
Caffeine, which has yet to officially launch, is aiming to unite what it estimates to be more than one billion gamers, streamers, non-streamers, and fans.
“We want to bring the world together around friends and live broadcasts,” said Ben Keighran, CEO of Caffeine, who blogged about his vision for the company in January. “It’s an ambitious goal, but one we believe is attainable with the support of our amazing new partners, our awesome and ever-growing community, and the content that together, we can bring onto the platform.”