LiveLike, a tech startup that has built a platform that melds virtual reality and social-media interactivity for sports, announced a $9.6 million Series B round, featuring new investors Greycroft Partners and Lepe Partners.
The new investors join existing backers including former NBA commissioner David Stern, Evolution Media, Courtside Ventures, Elysian Park, Dentsu Ventures, and the GC VR Gaming Tracker Fund. The funding round brings LiveLike, founded in early 2015, to about $15 million raised to date.
The New York-based company has developed a live-streaming platform that uses VR, as well as augmented reality and mixed reality, to produce an interactive, 360-degree “virtual suite” overlooking a sporting event for users to connect with friends or fellow fans via Facebook to watch the game. Users can select different camera angles and access stats, highlights and replays. Fans can view broadcaster content with or without a VR headset.
LiveLike has worked with broadcasters and rights holders including Fox Sports and French Tennis Federation, and produced 76 events on its platform last year. Those included 2017’s Super Bowl LI, the UEFA Champions League Final, the NCAA Basketball Big East Tournament, and the French Open tennis tournament. Fox Sports collaborated with LiveLike to create the Fox Sports VR app, which has featured sports like hockey, football, basketball and soccer.
According to LiveLike, it will use the new funding to expand partnerships and further build out its product and platform to make it simpler to use and add new in-product experiences such as fantasy sports integrations. Moreover, it will look to build new compelling advertising opportunities that enable marketers to connect with sports fans in groundbreaking ways.
“Thanks to our investors, we are now in a position to hire for key positions and continue delivering a premier next-generation sports [over-the-top] platform,” Andre Lorenceau, founder and CEO of LiveLike, said in announcing the funding.
Stern, who has invested in several sports-related tech and media startups, commented, “What has me excited about LiveLike is how they are bringing social viewing to live sports in a way that connects friends and fans like never before.”
LiveLike (livelikevr.com) is based in New York, with offices in Paris, France, and Gurgaon, India. The company’s founders, in addition to Lorenceau, are Fabrice Lorenceau, Jérémie Lasnier, Miheer Walavalkar, and Saswat Panda.