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Twitch's Newest Competitor

Twitch's Newest Competitor
June 30, 2020

The year 2019 was a challenging one for Twitch. Several high profile streamers, including Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, and Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, left the platform, taking way armies of fans.  

Compared to a few years ago, more gaming and streaming services have become alternatives to Twitch and pose real threats to the platform. This week, Tencent Holdings Ltd. announced that it is rolling out a live-streaming service similar to Amazon’s Twitch in the U.S., making a rare foray into American social media.

China’s largest company has been quietly testing a mobile-focused streaming network via an affiliate in the U.S. since at least March. Initially called Madcat and now branded Trovo Live, the new service closely resembles Twitch in its appearance and functionality. Beyond Tencent’s own portfolio of popular games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, Trovo also spotlights marquee titles like Grand Theft Auto and Destiny 2 and has now detailed plans on its website to entice and reward creators with a $30M partnership program starting in July.

The imminent arrival of Trovo comes at a moment of upheaval on the U.S. game-streaming scene. Microsoft announced it is closing down its Mixer platform, which had poached high-profile streamer Ninja away from Twitch last summer in an expensive but ultimately unfruitful move. Twitch itself has been rocked by a series of allegations about turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and abuse by some of its popular users. The Amazon-owned service has said it will investigate and suspend offending accounts.


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Game Streaming Platforms:

Smashcast is a live streaming platform that materialized after the merger of Azubu and Hitbox in May 2017. At the time, they announced they would "launch a new platform, focused on optimizing the mobile user experience and monetization technologies, strengthened by our internally developed technologies, technical partner relationships, and a passionate team dedicated to pushing the boundaries of video game live streaming."

IBM Cloud Video (formerly Ustream) is an American live video streaming company that is a subsidiary of IBM. It is based in San Francisco and has more than 180 employees in its San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Budapest offices. Company partners include Panasonic, Samsung, Logitech, CBS News, PBS NewsHour, Viacom, and IMG Media. It received $11.1M in Series A funding for new product development from DCM (Doll Capital Management) and investors Labrador Ventures and Band of Angels. Since 2016, it has been a subsidiary of IBM. On April 1, 2018, two years after its purchase, Ustream changed its name to reflect its new ownership.

Dailymotion is a French video-sharing technology platform primarily owned by Vivendi. North American launch partners include BBC News, VICE, Bloomberg, and Hearst Digital Media. Dailymotion is available worldwide in 25 languages and 43 localized versions featuring local home pages and local content. It has more than 300M unique monthly users. In 2015, Vivendi purchased an 80% stake in Dailymotion from Orange S. A. Vivendi increased its ownership to 90% that September.

Funding & Deal Highlights:

The direct-to-consumer health insurer Oscar has raised another $225M in its latest, late-stage round of funding as its vision of tech-enabled healthcare services to drive down consumer costs becomes more and more of a reality.

Planful Inc. (formerly Host Analytics), a Redwood City, CA-based financial planning and analysis (FP&A) cloud platform provider, raises an equity round of funding of undisclosed amount.

Candidate Labs wants to be a modern talent agency for techies. The company announces that it has raised $5M in seed funding. Investors in the round include SignalFire,  Leah Solivan of Fuel Capital, BoxGroup, Lattice CEO Jack Altman, and the founders of Opendoor, Eric Wu and Ian Wong.

Tarzana-based real estate developer Gelt Inc. has invested $41M to buy eight self-storage facilities in Memphis, Tenn.

Lemonade, an Israel-based digital insurer for homeowners and renters, set IPO terms for 11M shares at $23–$26 per share, generating an initial market cap of $1.3B at the price in the middle. It plans to list on the NYSE (LMND) and has raised around $480M in VC funding from firms like SoftBank Group (27.3% pre-IPO stake), Aleph (10.3%), General Catalyst (7.3%), XL Innovate (5.2%), Sequoia Capital Israel, and Thrive Capital.

AtaCor Medical Inc. completes a $25M Series B financing. The financing syndicate, led by a corporate partner, includes existing investors Broadview Ventures and aMoon Fund as well as new investors Hatteras Venture Partners, Catalyst Health Ventures (CHV) and Longview Ventures, a Broadview affiliate. 

Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., an oncology company focused on developing and commercializing allogeneic natural killer (NK) cell therapies, announces the launch of the company with the close of a $78M Series A financing. The financing was co-led by 5AM Ventures, venBio Partners, and RA Capital Management, and joined by Medivate Partners and seed investors and strategic partners GC LabCell (Green Cross LabCell Corporation) (KRX: 144510) and GC (Green Cross Holdings Corporation) (KRX: 005250). Artiva will use the proceeds of this financing to develop off-the-shelf universal NK cells for use in combination with monoclonal antibody therapy and tumor targeting CAR-NK cell therapies.

Sazerac buys Paul Masson brandy for $255M.

Cannae Holdings, Inc. and Senator Investment Group, LP, which, directly or through affiliated entities, jointly own or have an economic interest equivalent to approximately 15% of the outstanding shares of CoreLogic, Inc., sends a letter to the Company’s Board of Directors outlining a proposal to acquire CoreLogic for $65.00 per share in cash.

Amazon reaches an agreement to acquire autonomous-car developer Zoox

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
908 Profiles Updates | 176 M&A Deals172 Funding Activities
    Revenues, EV, EBITDA, and Valuations
Mastercard Is Going Deeper Into Fintech With Deal for Finicity
Mastercard has agreed to pay $825M for the data aggregator, paying more than 50 times revenue for Finicity
[Read more].
Microsoft to Close Game-Streaming Service Mixer, Team Up With Facebook
Starting July 22, users who visit Mixer will be redirected to Facebook Gaming. The surprise move comes less than a year after Microsoft lured popular streamer Ninja from’s Twitch. [Read more].
Thanks for reading. 
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