Lightstream, a Chicago-based company which develops tools to augment livestreams, has raised $8 million in new funding as it looks to add monitoring, management, and monetization services to its suite of editing technologies.
Last year, the company inked a partnership with Microsoft‘s live-streaming Twitch competitor, Mixer, to let streamers on the platform add professional flourishes like images, overlays, transitions and text to streams or to edit streams, without a lot of professional editing tools or expertise.
“We got started when Twitch was the only game in town,” says Stu Grubbs, Lightstream’s co-founder and chief executive. “Twitch was the only big name back in 2014 when we started and to be a live streamer you needed to understand bit rates and codex. We set out to make that easier.”
The company works with Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer, but it was when the partnership with Mixer came along that the company’s user base began to explode.
Key to the adoption was Microsoft’s acquisition of Beam which lowered the latency on Mixer’s video streams and made that product more compelling to users. Coupled with Microsoft’s reach as the one of the most popular platforms for PC and console gamers, Lightstream’s toolkit gained a powerful, and large user base.
For the past few years, the company has had between 1,000 and 2,000 streamers signing up every week to use its tools. There are now roughly 90,000 streamers on the platform, according to a rough estimate.
Now, with the new money, the company will look to double the size of the team and add some features that have been requested by Lightstream’s growing community of users, Grubbs said.
As a result of the new round, which included a $6 million equity commitment from investors including Drive Capital, MK Capital and Pritzker Group, and a $2 million debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank; Drive Capital General Partner, Andy Jenks, will take a seat on the company’s board of directors.
“Lightstream is an incredible company that has seen tremendous growth because of smart and efficient practices. Stu and his team stand at the convergence of multiple massive and rapidly growing industries,” said Jenks, in a statement. “Stu has immense passion and a keen vision for what they can do for creators and the impact Lightstream can have in live streaming, gaming, and beyond. They have assembled an incredible team, made smart strategic moves, created massive partnerships and are building towards something so big that we had to be a part of it.”