LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Maestro (http://maestro.io), the engagement and analytics platform for enterprise live streamers, announced the close of a $3 million Series A financing. The round is led by Hersh Interactive Group with additional investors Rubicon Venture Capital (investor in Unikrn) and the Stanford-StartX Fund. This brings the total capital raised by the company to $5.8M when added to the previous $2.8M Seed funding which included 500 Startups (led by former Hulu exec, Andrei Marinescu), Scrum Ventures, Three Six Zero Group, and Larry and Drew Marcus, partners at Walden Venture Capital.
Video consumption is expected to continue its staggering growth and live streaming is one of the fastest growing sub categories, but the traditional tools on which the industry relies, such as Nielsen, are no longer keeping up with today’s demands. For enterprises, viewership is no longer solely about eyeballs; instead, it is much more about engagement and identifying the levers that drive KPIs.
The Maestro platform enables a new category of live experiences that facilitates two-way interactions between streamers and their audiences. The days where a stream experience is simply a video with a chat on the side are coming to an end. In this new live stream era, “maestros” engage audiences to take action during key moments. Polls, commerce, contests, share prompts, and giveaways are triggered in real-time, which significantly increase watch time while capturing a robust set of user data to understand audiences and data-drive decisions. Maestro’s audience database system represents Nielsen for the cord cutter generation, trading estimates for actual user-level data augmented by engagement to provide a deep understanding of audiences. This first-of-its-kind solution creates experiences fans love while solving one of live streaming’s main challenges and in effect transforms the medium into a meaningful tool for business growth.
The company has focused on the rapidly growing esports and gaming market of 2.6B gamers worldwide. “Especially as the audience for watching eSports grows, live streaming will take a bigger share of the media marketplace … and that means more money for whoever can best engage with the new audience,” according to TechCrunch on Maestro’s funding announcement. Many industry titans have already leveraged Maestro on their own custom-branded destinations: Sony PlayStation, Microsoft, Pokemon, Warner Bros. Games, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Wargaming, ESL, Dreamhack, ELEAGUE, and more. “Maestro’s rapid penetration within esports supports our thesis that publishers, leagues, and teams will increasingly seek ways to connect with their audiences through branded experiences they control. The product’s strategic design provides a framework for continued innovation and value creation to propel the industry forward as it evolves,” said Randy Chappel, Managing Director of HIG.
Esports and gaming aren’t the only verticals embracing the cord cutting trend; enterprises across industries are actively seeking opportunities to create unique, authentic experiences for their audiences. The content analytics market is expected to grow to $4.37B by 2021, demonstrating the shift to data-driven content strategies. Maestro works with any video player, making it easy to layer into existing video distribution with major platforms. The company plans to use proceeds to continue expansion into additional categories of content, with customers such as Adobe, The GRAMMY Awards, and Coachella proving demand for Maestro’s solution.
“As sophistication around streaming becomes the norm, the new metrics revolve around quality of interaction, retention, and attribution to the bottom line. We’re excited to enable businesses around the world to create robust, long-term live streaming strategies through their own destinations,” said Ari Evans, founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Maestro provides a white-label platform for enterprise live streamers to own, engage, and monetize their audiences. The software focuses on engagement tools that drive actions at key moments while capturing user data to be used in analytics and marketing campaigns. Customers include Microsoft, PlayStation, E3, ESL, Capcom, WB Games, ELEAGUE, Dreamhack, Blizzard Entertainment, Coachella, The GRAMMY Awards and more.
Maestro has participated in startup accelerators 500 Startups’ Dojo and Stanford University’s StartX. The company won the 2017 Manatt Digital eSports Startup Launchpad and was recognized as a finalist in a variety of competitions including 2017 Digital Entertainment World, 2017 Midemlab, 2016 SXSW Accelerator, and 2016 NFL 1st & Future (hosted by TechCrunch and Stanford). To learn more, visit www.maestro.io.