SLIVER.tv, a 360º virtual reality broadcasting technology company, has raised $9.8 million (£7.7m) in series A funding in its bid to transform the esports spectator experience.
Co-founder and CEO of SLIVER.tv, Mitch Lui, said the money would “accelerate our R&D investments in machine vision, artificial intelligence and virtual reality” as the platform develops “cutting edge” live streaming technology for esports fans. He told us in February of the “do or die” approach the team took to ensuring the platform was up to scratch.
The round of funding was led by Danhua Capital, and Heuristic Capital Partners joined ZP Capital as fellow investors. Mitch said he was “thrilled” to welcome the trio aboard. The haul brings funding up to a current total of $17.5m (£13.7m). Existing seed contributors DCM, Sierra Ventures, The VR Fund, Samsung Next Fund and Sony Innovation Fund also joined in for the round.
“We are very excited to partner with SLIVER.tv,” said Dovey Wan, Managing Director of Danhua Capital. “Mitch and his team are fundamentally transforming the live spectator experience for global esports fans with their patented video streaming technology. Together with a new interactive engagement model, 360º esports content, and a novel incentive model for streamers, tournament organizers, and esports fans, we firmly believe they are ready to disrupt the industry with their next-gen multimedia entertainment platform.”
SLIVER.tv has already been a broadcaster for a number of esports tournaments since its last just last year. They have worked with leading esports brands such as ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters and Dreamhack in the US and Europe to bring 360º VR to millions of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends fans.
In July 2017 the company launched its ‘Watch and Win’ esports platform, which has drawn in hundreds of thousands of esports fans to spend virtual currency viewing and engaging with live games. SLIVER.tv claims nearly 100 years worth of content has been viewed in the past few weeks alone.
The platform operates by submerging viewers in a fully immersive 360° in-world stream using virtual camera array technology. The company describes the arrangement as akin to ‘giving them courtside seats’, allowing fans to delve right into the action.
Esports Insider says: This technology, along with a pending patent for automatic in-game highlight generation using machine vision, is an exciting prospect for esports fans. We are looking forward to seeing how the tech develops after a promising period of funding.