Alan Howard, Tiger Global Backs Decentralized Video Streaming Network Livepeer $20M Funding

Alan Howard, Tiger Global Backs Decentralized Video Streaming Network Livepeer $20M Funding

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Livepeer, a decentralized service designed to minimize infrastructure costs for online streaming or on-demand video applications, announced it has raised $20 million in its Series B expansion.

New investors in this round include financier Alan Howard and investment firm Tiger Global, with participation from existing backers.

Livepeer announced its initial $20 million Series B in July 2021. The round was led by Digital Currency Group (DCG) with participation from previous investor Northzone, as well as Coinbase Ventures, CoinFund, Mike Dudas’ 6th Man Ventures, and Warberg Serres.

With the new funding, the company has raised a total of $48 million.

The Series B extension also deepens Howard’s investments in blockchain technologies. Previously, the British billionaire led a $25 million extension to digital asset custodian Copper’s Series B investment round, followed by his participation in crypto trading platform Bitpanda’s $263 million raise led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures.

What is Livepeer?

Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Livepeer aims to reduce the costs of hosting streaming video by distributing the transcoding work across the computers participating in its network.

Transcoding is the process of converting raw files from one format to another before playback. However, as Doug Petkanics, Livepeer CEO, told Decrypt at Mainnet 2021 in September 2021, traditional video streaming apps like YouTube and Twitch are associated with “tremendous infrastructure costs”—it can cost up to $3 per hour to stream to a cloud service such as Amazon.

This is where Livepeer comes in, offering an open, decentralized network where anyone can put their computer capacity to work and contribute to video streaming, significantly reducing the associated costs.

To achieve this, Livepeer is building peer-to-peer infrastructure that interacts through a marketplace, where Ethereum is used to coordinate the entire process and settle the payments.

According to the company, there are already over 70,000 GPUs in the Livepeer network, which provides enough aggregated power to encode all video streaming through Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook combined.

“This rapid Series B extension is another welcome endorsement of how we are executing on our vision of becoming the world’s open video infrastructure,” said Petkanics. “We’ve seen strong organic growth in demand for transcoding, as well as growing awareness of the reliability, value, and efficiency of Web3 infrastructure.”

Livepeer, which currently has 32 employees, said it plans to use the fresh funding to discover and capture more live-streaming infrastructure opportunities. This rapidly expanding area is already seeing growing popularity in creator-driven video streams.

The new round of financing also follows the acquisition of MistServer, the flexible content delivery technology which expanded Livepeer offerings to enable developers to build cost-effective and scalable streaming applications targeting such areas as entertainment, events, gaming, and eCommerce.

The company added that Livepeer has streamed tens of millions of minutes to date, a six-fold increase from the start of 2021. In a key milestone, the network reached a record 2.3 million minutes streamed in a single week.

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