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Drake’s rap-battle partner Caffeine raises $113m funding round


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Microsoft may have closed its Mixer livestreaming service and thrown its lot in with Facebook, but another of Twitch’s live-video rivals has just raised a big funding round.

Caffeine is the company, and the round is $113m, with VC firms Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners joining media group Fox Corp in the investment. Bloomberg reported that it values Caffeine at more than $600m. Caffeine emerged from beta in November 2019, and has since added more than two million registered users.

Music is already part of its story, too: in February 2020 Caffeine announced an exclusive partnership with Drake, including plans to stream live rap battles via a partnership with Ultimate Rap League (URL). It now says that “hundreds of thousands of battle rap and hip-hop fans tune in live to its virtual battles, weekly shows, and tournaments”. Caffeine is doubling down on this with new shows on battle-rap and hip-hop culture more widely, including shows featuring artists Deetranada and Roy Woods, and a 30th anniversary celebration of Eric B. & Rakim’s 1990 album ‘Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em’.

Stuart Dredge

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