#StartupsToWatch: LIV

Recently we had the chance to work with an amazing startup that is changing the way gamers and spectators interact. LIV is a VR live streaming company which has embarked on a journey to make the experience of gaming spectators more fun and relatable. 

Twitch and similar live-streaming platforms have grown immensely over the last few years and the esports industry has seen investment pouring in. With over 2.2 million daily broadcasters and 15 million daily Twitch viewers, this new form of entertainment is experiencing a boom. 

However, VR games, in particular, tend to be difficult to watch as there are two potential viewpoints. Spectators can either watch the game through the eyes of the player or watch the player in the real world. But what if the spectator could see the player in the game? That’s exactly the solution that LIV has come up with. 

The Prague-based startup was founded by AJ Shewki (aka Dr Doom) in 2016. AJ studied mechanical engineering at the King’s College in London before moving to San Francisco where he set up his first startup. On top of that, he also managed to be the number one European competitive gamer of World of Warcraft for two consecutive seasons. 

With VR becoming a thing, his initial business idea was to sell green cubes that gamers could stream from. Unfortunately, that business model was not as sustainable as AJ had hoped. He was well aware that creating content in VR was considerably more difficult than with other computer games, and wanted to find a solution to facilitate creating VR content and making it more shareable. 

And that’s how LIV started. The company is the new age VR streaming specialist on the journey to create a truly engaging spectator experience. The team created a mixed reality interface that has been featured in many viral videos from games such as Beatsaber. Its product, LIV App, enables streamers to share the experience of VR gaming with their audience and engage with them in a new way. It basically allows spectators to be part of the game and make decisions by purchasing boosters and what not for the player. 

LIV has also built a strong Discord community with 11,000 users and counting. The company is now based in Prague while the team continues working from across the world. And it is hiring too

Last month, LIV announced a new round of investment in which the company has been backed by Palmer Luckey of Oculus and Jaroslav Beck of Beat Games, among others. With the new funds, the goal is to build the first integrated VR live streaming and real-time audience interaction. 

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