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Blockchain-based video streaming service Livepeer raises $20M – SiliconANGLE News

UPDATED 07:00 EST / JANUARY 05 2022
by Kyt Dotson
Decentralized blockchain video streaming network Livepeer Inc. today announced it has raised $20 million in new funding to maintain its infrastructure growth.
The Series B-1 round was led by financier Alan Howard and Tiger Global, with participation from existing investors. This round follows up Livepeer’s Series B round in July, which raised $20 million, and brings the total funds raised by the company to $48 million.
Livepeer Chief Executive Doug Petkanics said continued investments in the company’s peer-to-peer transcoding capabilities reveal how the technology can transform video livestreaming.
The company provides decentralized video streaming infrastructure built on the Ethereum blockchain that targets the same market as Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch and Google LLC’s YouTube.
Using blockchain technology, Livepeer provides a marketplace where people provide graphical processing power to broadcasters who need video transcoded, which is the process of converting video from one format to another to ensure the best viewing experience due to bandwidth needs. People who provide the computing power are incentivized with a native cryptocurrency token that can be exchanged for money.
“We’ve seen strong organic growth in demand for transcoding, as well as growing awareness of the reliability, value and efficiency of web3 infrastructure,” said Petkanics.
Web3 refers to the decentralized nature of peer-to-peer blockchain networks and their ability to scale infrastructure reliably — in the case of Livepeer, putting the producers of computing power into contact with people who need that computing power. Using Livepeer’s network can be much cheaper for transcoding than centralized alternatives such as Amazon Web Services, the company says.
“Live video streaming is quite complex. It’s not the same as storing a file on a server and then sending it to a user upon request,” Petkanics told SiliconANGLE. “Since the video is live, it has to be transcoded. That happens in real-time, moving from the broadcaster to the user. For a single stream, it’s not that complicated. But once you scale, it not only becomes extremely processor-intensive but also expensive.”
According to Petkanics, many startups might pay $3/hr for transcoding with current traditional models, something that can be done for far cheaper on Livepeer.
“it prevents new companies from gaining a foothold and further advantages the incumbents — the biggest of which own not only the servers and transcoding but also the platforms where end-users consume those streams,” he said. “You’re lining the pockets of your biggest competitors!”
Petkanics added that it’s Livepeer’s vision to become “the world’s open video infrastructure” and so far 2021 has shown a strong indication that the company is on that trajectory with significant growth.
The company has a variety of use cases for its peer-to-peer video streaming network, with the most common surrounding creator economies and 24×7 streams. These two categories, in particular, require a lot of transcoding for content delivery and without scalability and cheaper solutions would be impossible to upkeep for smaller businesses.
During the first week of October, the Livepeer network transcoded a record all-time high of 3.6 million minutes of video. This represented a tenfold increase from the start of 2021. Further new records were set during September and November, when the network exceeded 10.5 million monthly minutes transcoded.
In October, Livepeer also acquired the deployable media server company MistServer developed by DDVTech B.V. With the acquisition, Livepeer’s core contributors expanded to 32 members and it expanded the company’s ecosystem to include MistServer users.
With MistServer, users can easily deploy their own livestreaming server, connect it to Livepeer’s network and immediately begin livestreaming across the peer-to-peer network and take advantage of the scalable transcoding and streaming infrastructure.
The company said it will use the new funds to continue to capture more audiences and opportunities in the livestreaming market. Livestreaming is driven heavily by the popularity of people broadcasting their own experiences in video games, shared entertainment, esports and live shopping.
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