BoxCast, a Cleveland-based company aiming to make it easy to livestream any event, has raised $20 million in Series A funding.
Co-founder and CEO Gordon Daily said that when the company first launched in 2013, “streaming wasn’t something that everyone understood,” and you needed professional help to livestream anything. BoxCast is supposed to make that process accessible to anyone.
BoxCast has created several different video encoder devices, but Daily said the “small box” is just a small piece of the platform, which is supposed to cover all your livestreaming needs, with support for 1080p broadcasting; streaming to Facebook Live, YouTube and your own website; analytics and more — plus there are add-ons like automatic scoreboard displays and event ticketing.
Pricing starts at $99 per month for the “essential” streaming plan, plus $399 for a BoxCast encoder. (You can also just stream from an iOS device.)
And it’s no surprise that 2020 has been a “watershed moment” for the company, as Daily put it, with the company now livestreaming millions of events per year — everything from sports to religions services to virtual safaris offered by Sri Lanka’s tourism board.
“When you can’t even meet in-person … we knew that there was going to be higher usage,” he said. “What caught me off-guard was the volume increase — it’s new customers, it’s existing customers, at peak times there’s a 10x increase [from pre-pandemic usage].”
And while in-person events will hopefully become more common next year, Daily said livestreams will still be a valuable tool to reach audiences who can’t attend, and to promote your business or organization with new kinds of programming.
COO Sam Brenner added that while BoxCast employed fewer than 40 people before the pandemic, the team has grown to 56, and will likely double within the next 12 months.
The Series A was led by Updata Partners, with participation from audio equipment manufacturer Shure.
“The live streaming video market has grown dramatically over the last decade, and COVID-19 has accelerated adoption in recent months. BoxCast offers a unique end-to-end platform that makes live streaming easy,” said Updata’s Carter Griffin in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with Gordon and his team, and look forward to contributing to their vision of making live events accessible to all.”