London, UK - 24th July, 2019: LIV, the company revolutionising the way players and spectators watch and interact with live streamed VR games has announced a million dollar funding round. The mixed reality pioneer captures players inside of their favourite VR experiences, empowering audiences to interact with the gameplay in real-time.
The Prague-based company has been backed by investors, including Palmer Luckey, Founder of Oculus and Designer of Oculus Rift; Jaroslav Beck, CEO and Co-Founder of Beat Games, the studio behind VR's most-viewed game to date, Beat Saber; early stage VC's Seedcamp, TechStars, and Credo Ventures; VR behemoth VIVE and its accelerator, VIVE X; and mixed reality production specialist Splitverse. A host of angel investors have also supported the company.
Founded in 2016, LIV was the first of a new age of VR streaming specialists optimising in-game viewing experiences for spectators. LIV empowers creators to share their VR experiences in fun & relatable ways, creating truly engaging VR spectator experiences. LIV has acquired talent and technology as its team has grown, including the creators of three key technologies that now underpin its offering. These acquisitions are: OBS Mixed Reality Filter & Mixtra - the first out-of-engine compositing technology for mixed reality capture; Mixed reality calibration app VIVR; ChromaFree - The Microsoft Kinect dynamic background removal tool.
With this investment, LIV will continue its mission of building the first truly integrated VR Live streaming and real-time audience interaction platform for streamers and games developers. LIV empowers creators to grow and engage their audiences, in real time, wherever the VR experience takes them.
LIV's CEO and Founder AJ Shewki (aka Dr DOOM), commented: "We think that VR is the final computing platform, and in a world where VR is mainstay we need tools for creators and developers to share their experiences in real-time. In VR, your whole body is your controller, and we had to include that human nuance into the spectator experience. We've taken VR from a "must try to believe" experience, to something you can watch on a 2D screen whilst still really understanding the magic of 6 degrees of freedom that VR offers."
"We have some pioneers within our field on the team and are now backed by the people and companies that created VR as we know it. Together we are playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of the industry. Our kit is being pushed further and further afield, and all our partners, creators, and audience are as excited as us to see what comes next."
The LIV App has been downloaded 34,000 times and is responsible for the viewing experience of Beat Games' viral sensation Beat Saber in 2018. The platform has amassed over 1.5 billion views globally, leading the way for how VR should be viewed on 2D screens. LIV recently came out of Early Access, showing off its newest big feature release: LIV Avatars.
Beat Games' CEO Jaroslav Beck also commented, stating that, "LIV has been instrumental in the growth of Beat Games' global brand awareness. The Beat Saber video shot us from an anticipated VR game to a global sensation. A large part of that is thanks to LIV. As an early investor, we have seen the potential for making VR game streaming a household activity and from what we can see, the team is only just getting warmed-up. From a developers perspective, their SDK is super easy to integrate and their creator community is the largest in the world - both important factors in our decision to work with them."
LIV's technology has become synonymous with VR streaming, so much so that Oculus used LIV to power all the mixed reality footage in their Oculus Quest release trailers.
Palmer Luckey, Oculus Rift's Creator and Oculus' Founder added, "I created the Oculus Rift because I wanted the ability to transport myself into virtual worlds. AJ and his team have taken the next step towards that goal, empowering creators and developers to present themselves and their avatars however they want during live gaming and broadcast. I love what they have already done, and I am an investor because I am so excited about what they will do next."
Carlos Espinal, Managing Partner at Seedcamp explained, "It's clear from the speed that the technologies are developing and by the impact they have on its users, that the future of both entertainment and education will be centred around immersive augmented and virtual realities. A critical part of bringing that to life will be the tools made available to creatives to bring about that rich environment. We've backed the LIV team because of their vision around how to best enable engagement between an audience and a creative, which we believe will be the critical feature to bring the whole experience to life."
Dr DOOM concludes by adding: We've come this far because our core pillars are to help creators and developers share their experiences and be successful in their work. LIV will always be free for developers and content creators; these are the people driving our booming platform.
The investment will be used to grow its core engineering team, allowing LIV to further develop its offering to games developers, content creators, game streamers and audiences the world over. To date, the company is integrated in over 150 experiences, including experiences from developers like Beat Games, Harmonix, CloudHead Games, Superhot, Survios, Ubisoft and VIVEPORT, with upcoming support for Oculus Native SDK.