Caffeine is a social broadcasting company that has raised over $100 million in funding led by 21st Century Fox. Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, and other undisclosed investors also participated in this round. The total investment amount is unknown and the funding will be for Caffeine and a newly formed venture called Caffeine Studios.
Caffeine Studios will utilize FOX Sports’ expertise in live events and programming for creating exclusive esports, video games, sports, and live entertainment content. 21st Century Fox’s Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch is also joining Caffeine’s board of directors.
Today Caffeine also announced a content agreement with Live Nation to bring live concerts to its platform in Q4 2018. “We want to bring the world together around friends and live broadcasts,” said Caffeine CEO Ben Keighran in a statement. “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.”
Caffeine Studios will also become part of the new “Fox,” which is a company that is being formed upon the completion of the proposed transaction between 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company. This deal is expected to be completed in early 2019 pending regulatory approval. Lachlan Murdoch is expected to be the chair and CEO of the new “Fox.”
“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,” added Lachlan Murdoch. “We are excited to partner with Caffeine and build something special for fans in the growing live social streaming esports and gaming space.”
Caffeine was founded by Sam Roberts (former Apple senior user experience designer) and Keighran (former Apple TV product design lead). Caffeine is currently in pre-release and will continue releasing new features and functionality. The company previously raised $46 million in two rounds of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners.