Twitch Nets $20 Million In Funding From Take-Two, Others
Your favorite gameplay streaming site is about to get bigger, better, and…twitch-ier?
Twitch announced today that it recently completed a third round (Series C) of funding, netting $20 million from four different sources. WestSummit Capital, and Take-Two Interactive (yes, the Grand Theft Auto publishers) are two new VC backers, while Alsop Louie Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners have made additional contributions on top of previous funding. After this latest funding round, Twitch has raised a total of roughly $42 million, according to Forbes.
Twitch has been a force in online streaming for a while now, consistently hitting unique visitor marks in the tens of millions. That popularity is about to spike even higher, however, as Twitch has deep integration in both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. It’s also included in specific games, too, like the forthcoming ReKoil FPS. Easier streaming means more streamers, so user numbers will grow significantly over the next 12 months.
Twitch currently employs about 90 people, and the new VC money will go into a deeper sales team, as well as tech investment ahead of the next-gen console launches.
Check out the Twitch press release text below:
Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers, today announced a Series C $20 million investment led by Thrive Capital with participation from WestSummit Capital and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), as well as additional funds from existing investors including Alsop Louie Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. The details regarding investors’ level of participation were not disclosed. Today’s investment will enable Twitch to continue scaling its sales division and infrastructure to meet the demand of its rapidly growing viewership. Twitch has soared to more than 45 million unique visitors per month.
“Gamers today have a healthy appetite for both producing and consuming live video game content, so it’s vital that we’re not only keeping pace with them, but staying one step ahead,” said Kevin Lin, Twitch COO. “With the investments from Thrive Capital, WestSummit Capital, and Take-Two Interactive, it ensures we can more effectively grow and tap into new markets.”
Since launching in June of 2011, Twitch has become the default live video platform for the entire video game industry with gamers, game publishers, game developers, media companies, eSports organizations, and individual original content creators embracing the trend. At the center of the movement is Twitch’s broadcasting platform. With the burgeoning appeal of video game streaming and the audience it attracts, the new funding will help minimize growing pains that normally accompany this degree of rapid acceleration.
“Twitch is a company that we see riding multiple waves both in gaming and online video,” said Chris Paik, Partner at Thrive Capital. “By providing gamers a new way to express themselves, Twitch has built a strong, passionate and fast growing community around itself.”
WestSummit Capital also provided commentary on the partnership: “We see many exciting opportunities for Twitch to build upon their global leadership position in this explosive sector of the industry, especially in the innovative and rapidly growing Asia Pacific region,” said Raymond Yang, Co-Founder and Managing Director at WestSummit Capital. “We are delighted to partner with Twitch as the company enters its next phase of growth.”
The new funding will help support and expand the Twitch Media Group, an internal ad sales force with a deep bench of game industry expertise and a key pillar of Twitch’s business strategy. In addition, the investments will help ensure Twitch’s infrastructure is prepared for the impending release of the PlayStation®4 system, Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE) next generation computer entertainment system, and Xbox One, the all-in-one gaming and entertainment system from Microsoft Corp., which will both feature Twitch broadcasting and viewing functionality.
“Given the excitement surrounding Microsoft and Sony’s upcoming video game consoles, Twitch will be in a lot of living rooms this holiday season,” adds Lin. “Their intuitive and accessible integration of Twitch removes the barriers to entry which casual broadcasters currently face, so we expect traffic numbers to soar when these consoles launch. The trend of video game based content as entertainment is not only here to stay, it’s becoming a critical part of the holistic gaming experience.”
Twitch will also use the investment to continue iterating on its core product, expand its global video delivery infrastructure, enhance its quality of service, and support and grow its partnership network with the world’s largest game publishers and platforms.