LiveLike, a startup that has developed a VR platform for live TV sporting events, has raised a $9.6 million B round that includes new investors Greycroft Partners and Lepe Partners.
New York-based LiveLike has raised about $15 million so far thanks to backing from other investors such as David Stern, commissioner emeritus of the NBA; Evolution Media; Courtside Ventures; Elysian Park; Dentsu Ventures; and the GC VR Gaming Tracker Fund.
The startup, which is also focusing on augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) applications, plans to use the fresh funds to help it expand its partnerships, and further build out its product and platform in a way that aims to simplify the experience and to make it more frictionless.
It will also work on making its system compatible with more platforms and develop new “in-product experiences” such as fantasy sports integrations and other social-facing elements.
The app, also accessible in 360-degree format on mobile devices, will present a “virtual suite” developed in partnership with LiveLike that will feature multiple camera angles of the match, as well as stats and pre-game VOD features.
The new investment also follows LiveLike’s early work with partners such as Fox Sports that center on the creation of interactive, 3D “virtual suites” that complement the 2D live TV feed while also providing multiple camera angles, stats and some VOD elements.
LiveLike and Fox Sports have teamed on such VR experiences around several sporting events, including last June’s UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus, Super Bowl LI, the 2016 and 2017 Big East Mean’s Basketball Tournaments, the 2016 U.S. Open Championship, the 2016 MLS Cup, the 2016 Bundesliga season opener, and the 2016 Big Ten Football Championship.
LiveLike said it plans to announce more media and event partners as well as product enhancements in the coming months.
“LiveLike has been successful because we have built a platform that connects with younger generations seeking a more non-traditional experience,” Andre Lorenceau, founder and CEO of LiveLike, said in a statement. “Thanks to our investors, we are now in a position to hire for key positions and continue delivering a premier next-generation sports OTT platform.”
Michael Davies, SVP field & technical operations at Fox Sports, added: “It has always been in Fox Sports’s DNA to explore different and imaginative ways to serve our fans. To that end, in our nearly two years of working with LiveLike, creating our Fox Sports VR app and working on sports like hockey, football, basketball and soccer, we have found them to be innovative, nimble, and attentive to this exciting and rapidly changing platform. We are looking forward to continuing to imagine the future with them.”