Sliver.tv rakes in $9.8M in funding, advances VR broadcasting technology

artificial intelligence
After being launched last year, Sliver.tv has broadcast numerous global esports tournaments in 360º virtual reality.

Sliver.tv, a developer of virtual reality-based esports platform, has closed a $9.8 million series A round of equity financing, bringing its total funding to $17.5 million.

Led by Danhua Capital, Heuristic Capital Partners and ZP Capital also participated in the round.

Sliver.tv’s existing seed investors, including DCM, Sierra Ventures, The VR Fund, Samsung Next Fund and Sony Innovation Fund were also present.

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After being launched last year, Sliver.tv has broadcast numerous global esports tournaments in 360º VR in partnership with key brands including ESL One, DreamHack and Intel Extreme Masters. At major sporting events in the U.S. and Europe, Sliver.tv has live-streamed top esports games to millions of fans of "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends."

Since Sliver.tv beta launched its Watch & Win esports platform in July 2017, the company has attracted hundreds of thousands of esports fans spending over 500 million virtual coins by actively participating and engaging with live esports matches. These users have viewed over 50 million minutes of esports streams, nearly 100 years worth of content in the past few weeks.

Artificial intelligence, for the most part, has been used by Netflix and other video providers for simple functions related to search and content recommendations.

A recent report from Parks Associates suggested AI’s benefits can be extended beyond content production and enhancement.

“AI-enabled systems will also be increasingly used in content creation decisions, revealing topical areas or genre-related trends that have previously gone unnoticed in the noise of big data,” Parks said in a recent report. “Using these tools will allow producers and distributors to better predict and fund content that will draw audiences.”

At the heart of Sliver.tv's approach is its patented virtual camera array technology that captures 2D games played on a PC such as "Counter Strike: Global Offensive" and "League of Legends," and renders in real-time a fully immersive 360° in-world stream.

The company said the technology is analogous to placing the viewer or spectator inside the game and giving them courtside seats with VR. The company’s pending patents cover the automatic highlight and generation of key in-game moments utilizing machine vision and a new video-encoding algorithm for nonconcentric spherical projection for a multiresolution view.

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