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Investing in the Future of Live Video: Why Sapphire is Excited to Partner with Restream

We’re excited to announce today that we’re co-leading the $50 million Series A financing for Restream. Restream is a SaaS platform that allows video creators to easily live stream to multiple social media platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more than 30 other platforms simultaneously.

Over the last several years, live streaming has steadily gained momentum as a popular way for companies, entertainers, influencers and anyone who wants to broadcast video to reach wide audiences. Streaming technology is now sufficiently cheap and accessible to integrate into existing consumer products, such as social media and mobile apps, giving everyone the ability to stream or consume live video anytime, anywhere. COVID-19 has accelerated and amplified the live video phenomenon, and we expect these trends to continue to play out in a post-COVID environment.

When we first met Alex Khuda and the Restream team, we knew they were on to a big opportunity. The explosive growth and proliferation of use cases experienced by Restream in the past year has been impressive. Professional sports leagues are broadcasting games across social platforms via Restream, Global 2000 corporations are turning to the company to market their events, and thousands of churches bring people together through Restream’s live streaming platform. With this new funding, we’re thrilled to help Restream take live video to new levels. Here’s why we’re looking forward to partnering.

Helping broadcasters reach audiences unlike ever before

Restream makes broadcasting to a global audience simple. The platform removes the need for users to download streaming software by offering broadcast services directly from the browser. This ease of use has led to more than 95 million broadcasts delivered to over one billion viewers since the company launched. And by using its own infrastructure rather than relying on a cloud provider, Restream is able to support a community of more than two million creators that broadcast eight million monthly live streams to 750 million monthly viewers around the world.

With the launch of Restream Studio earlier this year, streamers are able to deliver a unified experience from original content creation to broadcasting to multi-streaming--all by using Restream. In addition, Restream’s analytics functionality helps users determine aggregate interactions across social media platforms, which is a particular advantage for enterprise broadcasters that use live streaming as part of their broader marketing strategy.

When Restream first launched several years ago, its initial adoption was particularly strong in the gaming community. Since then, Restream has grown to support a variety of verticals, such as politics, entertainment and corporate marketing. And the company has amassed 40,000 subscribers and 12 million users worldwide.

Restream is the first company we’ve seen that targets multi-platform live streaming as a core use-case. Along with Restream Studio and its analytics features, we believe that the company is well-positioned to become the de facto platform for streamers.

A sizeable market opportunity that’s ripe for expansion

We believe that Restream is in the right place at the right time. The global video streaming software market is growing 23 percent annually, and is expected to surpass $10 billion by 2023. A key reason for the growth in live streaming technology is that it has now become cost-effective enough to mass-produce and integrate into existing customer products and social media apps. This creates opportunities for brands and influencers to expand their market reach, and we believe Restream is well positioned to capitalize on the demand.

Over the last several months, Restream and the live streaming industry overall have benefited from mandated remote work and shelter-in-place orders, which have accelerated the need for live streaming capabilities. All types of businesses, organizations, creators, and individuals are turning to live streaming to take their events to the digital stage. For example, Presidential candidate Joe Biden has been using Restream regularly to engage voters on the campaign trail. Major technology companies like Salesforce have been relying on Restream to host webinars, conferences, and live talks. And this past April, The World Health Organization (WHO) used Restream to host the largest digital concert in history, One World Together at Home, reaching 25 million viewers cross-platform and raising over $120 million for COVID-19 relief efforts.

Experienced leadership with the right technical expertise

Alexander Khuda (left), Andrew Surzhynskyi (right)

What drew us to Restream wasn’t just the product and market opportunity, but also the company founders. Restream was founded in 2015 by Alex Khuda, CEO, and Andrew Surzhynskyi, CTO, both of whom are graduates of the National Technical University of Ukraine.

As we got to know Alex and Andrew, it became clear that they had the right expertise to build a platform that will revolutionize how live video content is distributed. As experienced developers and entrepreneurs, Alex and Andrew are product-centric and mission-driven. We’re excited to work with Alex, Andrew and the Restream team.

Together, we’ll amplify live video and pave the way for next-gen broadcasters!

Disclaimer: Nothing presented within this article is intended to constitute investment advice, and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire Ventures (“Sapphire”). Information provided reflects Sapphires’ views as of a time, whereby such views are subject to change at any point and Sapphire shall not be obligated to provide notice of any change.Companies mentioned in this article are a representative sample of portfolio companies in which Sapphire has invested in which the author believes such companies fit the objective criteria stated in commentary, which do not reflect all investments made by Sapphire. A complete alphabetical list of Sapphire’s investments made by its direct growth and sports investing strategies is available here. No assumptions should be made that investments listed above were or will be profitable. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events, results or the actual experience may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in these statements. Nothing contained in this article may be relied upon as a guarantee or assurance as to the future success of any particular company. Past performance is not indicative of future results.