- REDWOOD CITY, Calif. & NEW YORK
21st Century Fox (21CF) has invested a combined $100 million in social broadcasting platform Caffeine and a newly formed venture called Caffeine Studios that is jointly owned by FOX Sports and Caffeine. The new studio will leverage FOX Sports’ expertise in live events and programming to create exclusive esports, video game, sports, and live entertainment content for Caffeine’s next-generation platform. In addition, Lachlan Murdoch, 21CF’s executive chairman, will join Caffeine’s board. 21CF’s stakes in Caffeine and Caffeine Studios will be part of the proposed new “Fox,” the company that will be formed upon completion of the proposed transaction between 21CF and The Walt Disney Company, and where Murdoch will serve as chairman and CEO.
21CF led a round of funding in which Caffeine also received additional investments from Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners, as well as from other partners. The amount of their investments is undisclosed. To further underscore Caffeine’s vision of bringing people together around the content they love, Caffeine is teaming up with Live Nation to stream a series of live concerts on the platform beginning in Q4 2018, offering fans a new way to experience their favorite musical acts.
“We want to bring the world together around friends and live broadcasts,” said Ben Keighran, CEO of Caffeine. “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.”
“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,” said Murdoch. “We are excited to partner with Caffeine and build something special for fans in the growing live social streaming esports and gaming space.”
As a real-time, social broadcast platform, Caffeine is focused on bringing the more than one billion gamers, streamers, non-streamers, and fans together around the friends and content they’ll love. Users find content because of the people they follow in their social circles and come together to share that content with each other and their ever-growing group of friends. Personal conversations between friends and broadcasters happen in real-time and are given preference, enabling more meaningful social engagements while disposing of toxic chatter and endless feeds of meaningless comments. In addition, Caffeine includes a fair, ad-free monetization system that is open to everyone and is designed to encourage broadcasters and enhance the content experience. Caffeine is built on its own infrastructure, so it requires no third-party software or plug-ins. All it takes is one click for broadcasters to start delivering content, enjoying latency-free conversations, and making money.
Caffeine is currently in pre-release and will continue to release new features and functionality, as well as content from a host of new partners, including those mentioned above, as it heads toward its official launch.