×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ex-Apple TV Execs Have Raised $46 Million for Live-Broadcasting Startup Caffeine

Two former Apple TV designers have raised a big bucket of venture-capital money to launch Caffeine: a startup looking to take on Amazon-owned Twitch with a new social-broadcasting service.

The duo, Ben Keighran and Sam Roberts, formed Caffeine in April 2016. They’ve announced a total of $46 million in two rounds of funding led by Silicon Valley VC firms Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners.

Caffeine has released its platform and tools for live-streaming games — and other content — in a beta version at caffeine.tv on the web and via its iOS app. The company claims it’s simpler to use than Twitch, allowing users to broadcast from PC game broadcast software, browser webcams, and the Caffeine app without any configuration.

“I left Apple to create a company that would fundamentally change the way we create, consume, share, and monetize live content,” Keighran, Caffeine’s CEO, said in announcing the funding.

Caffeine’s initial pre-release version is centered on video-game broadcasting. But according to Keighran, the platform is already seeing creators using it for other kinds of entertainment including live podcasts and talk shows. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup plans to launch a monetization system for broadcasters in early 2018.

Before starting Caffeine, Keighran worked at Apple as product design lead for Apple TV. He joined Apple in 2012, when the tech giant acquired Chomp, a search startup he co-founded and led as CEO. Roberts previously worked at Apple as a senior user experience designer and was a senior designer for Apple TV, iPhoto, Aperture, and other products.

In addition, Keighran and Roberts have recruited Anna Sweet, a former exec at Valve and Facebook/Oculus, to head up business, content and strategy efforts.

Caffeine’s built-in tools allow broadcasters to share their streams on Facebook and Twitter. The company says the platform gives priority to personal conversations among a creator’s friends, resulting in “more meaningful social engagements while disposing of toxic chatter.”

“Caffeine is masterfully designed to enable creators in all fields to connect with their audiences in the best way possible,” Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz co-founder and general partner, said in a statement. Horowitz sits on the startup’s board, along with Greylock partner John Lilly.

More Digital

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Sirius Logo

    SiriusXM Unveils $8 Essential Plan for Consumers Without Cars

    SiriusXM wants to cater consumers without cars, or cars without compatible stereos, with a new $8 plan for mobile and in-home listening. Dubbed SiriusXM Essential, the plan offers access to 200+ channels featuring the network’s entire music programming, as well comedy, news and select sports channels. Consumers will be able to test the new plan [...]

  • Mueller Report Book Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Book Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Marques Brownlee - Retro Tech

    YouTube Orders Marques Brownlee 'Retro Tech' Original Series

    YouTube has turned to one of its homegrown stars — technology vlogger Marques Brownlee, aka “MKBHD” — for its newest original series. The video platform has greenlit series “Retro Tech” featuring Brownlee, in which he’ll unbox and review vintage technology products that have defined pop culture. The show, slated to debut in December 2019, follows [...]

  • Netflix Tests Random Episode Button in

    Netflix Starts Testing Random Episode Button

    Netflix is testing a button to play random episodes of select TV shows, the company confirmed Friday morning. “We are testing the ability for members to play a random episode from different TV series on the Android mobile app,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “These tests typically vary in length of time and by region, [...]

  • Netflix Our Planet Sophie Darlington

    Netflix's 'Our Planet' Roars to Life With Work by Top Wildlife Cinematographers

    In terms of scope, production time and — very likely — budget, Netflix’s “Our Planet” is one of the most ambitious projects from the streaming service to date. Narrated by David Attenborough and made available worldwide on April 5, the goal of the eight-part series is to capture diverse habitats across the globe and highlight [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content