21st Century Fox Invests $100M in Social Streamer Caffeine

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Lachlan Murdoch

Lachlan Murdoch will join the company's board.

As part of a bigger funding round, 21st Century Fox is investing $100 million in startup Caffeine, a social live streaming platform for gaming, entertainment and other content.

The companies unveiled the round of financing, which includes participation from existing Caffeine investors Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners and other undisclosed partners, Wednesday. Only the size of Fox's investment was disclosed.

Caffeine also unveiled a content agreement with Live Nation to bring live music concerts to the platform in the fourth quarter.

21st Century Fox invested a combined $100 million into Caffeine and a newly formed venture called Caffeine Studios that will be jointly owned by Fox Sports and Caffeine. "The new studio will leverage Fox Sports’ expertise in live events and programming to create exclusive esports, video game, sports, and live entertainment content for Caffeine's next-generation social broadcasting platform," the partners said.

Lachlan Murdoch, Fox's executive chairman, will join Caffeine’s board. Fox's stakes in Caffeine and Caffeine Studios will be part of the so-called new Fox, the company that will remain after completion of the proposed $71.3 billion sale of various Fox businesses to the Walt Disney Co.

“The combination of the Caffeine platform with a content studio that benefits from Fox Sports’ expertise in live events and programming will help position Caffeine to deliver compelling experiences in esports, video gaming and entertainment,” said Lachlan Murdoch. “We are excited to partner with Caffeine and build something special for fans in the growing live social streaming esports and gaming space." 

“We want to bring the world together around friends and live broadcasts,” said Ben Keighran, CEO of Caffeine. “It’s an ambitious goal, but one we believe is attainable with the support of our amazing new partners, our awesome and ever-growing community, and the content that together, we can bring onto the platform.”  

Caffeine was originally backed with $46 million in two rounds of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners. Its platform is currently in prerelease.