Remember in the Hunger Games movie when the viewers in the Capitol were able to pay extra to have a parachute of healing potion land in the game map for Katniss Everdeen? We just made an investment in Muxy (Austin, TX), who is making this a reality in video game streaming.
3 Key Themes: there are three key themes that led us to meeting the Muxy team and eventually making an investment in this company:
1) Esports fans are highly under-monetized
2) Streaming audiences are also under-monetized
3) Fan engagement tools need to take a leap forward
Muxy directly addresses each of these themes:
1) Esports Fans: Esports fans (480M) are being monetized at around $2–4 per fan. In traditional sports, the average fan is monetized closer to $56 per fan. We expect this gap to narrow considerably over the coming decade, yet the monetization streams will expand beyond sports business models (media rights, tickets, food & beverage, merchandise). After watching esports fans engage with tools like Twitch, Upcomer, or ESP.bet, we are keen on investing in technologies and platforms that provide a product/service worth paying for to the esports fanbase. Unlike traditional athletes (Lebron James), esports athletes make a living by interacting with their fans primarily on digital platforms. Therefore, effective monetization tools on these digital platforms are critical to their success. Muxy gives fans the ability to support and interact in a way traditional sports never could.
2) Streaming Audience: In 2Q19, hundreds of millions of people spent time on streaming platforms like Twitch (2.7B hours watched), YouTube Gaming (701M hours watched), and Mixer (119M hours watched). This level of engagement has been primarily monetized through ads, paid subscriptions, and donations. While these monetization streams have been effective, we believe that digital environments have undiscovered options that can unlock significant additional revenue. We are watching Muxy discover this.
3) Fan engagement tools: Audiences are actively looking for more tools (beyond just a chaotic chat) to engage with the streamers they enjoy watching. Streamers are also looking for tools that enhance the interactions with their audiences. Especially in video gaming, which is native to a digital platform, there should be more tools at the fan’s disposal that allow them to financially support and contribute to the success of their streamer, team, or influencer. Muxy has built these tools.
What does Muxy do? Muxy builds solutions that allow you to interact with your favorite streamer while also supporting them. They are building a comprehensive platform for extension development of interactive live video applications (ILV apps).
By creating these backend solutions they allow for their product to be used across different streaming platforms. Now publishers/developers, leagues, or individual streamers can integrate with Muxy and tailor it for themselves to give fans the opportunity to more directly interact with the streams, as well as offer additional revenue streams for the channel. Based on Muxy’s track record of developing high-performing Twitch streamer tools, we believe this is the right team to execute this vision and we’re thrilled to partner with them.