Fox Invests $100 Million in Caffeine, Squaring Off Against Amazon in Growing Video Game Streaming Field

September 5, 2018, 3:17 PM UTC

21st Century Fox is betting big on an upstart video streaming service that seeks to one-up Twitch, Amazon’s phenomenally successful game streaming service.

Fox has invested $100 million in Caffeine, a social broadcast service (still in beta) that will stream everything from esports tournaments to video games to live concerts.

The Fox investment will be used to fund a new studio that’s co-owned by Caffeine and Fox Sports. Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch, will join Caffeine’s board of directors.

“This is a game changing deal for us,” said Ben Keighran, Caffeine’s co-founder and CEO in a statement. “[Murdoch’s] knowledge and experience in live event and programming will be an invaluable asset to us as we continue to grow and expand our content offerings. We believe that with his incredible vision and creativity, we are many steps closer to achieving our goal of transforming the way people discover, consume and pay for live broadcasting together.”

Fox joins original investors Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners, who also contributed more in this round. And the company has announced a partnership with Live Nation to bring weekly live concerts to the platform.

Twitch, which will be Caffeine’s chief rival, has been a runaway success for Amazon, which bought the service in 2014 for a then-astonishing $970 million. The service, today, draws as many viewers as many cable networks, including CNN. On an average day, the site has about 15 million active users.

Caffeine is hardly the only Twitch competitor. Microsoft is making a push to siphon viewers away and Facebook also struck a deal to stream esports.