Sports streaming specialist Phenix scores $16.7M in new funding

Phenix, a technology platform specializing in synchronized video streams and low latency, closed a $16.7 million Series B funding round with investors including Verizon.

The company said the latest round – which was led by Chicago based sports/tech VC firm KB Partners with participation from Verizon Ventures and Manheim Investments – brings its total funding to approximately $40 million.

Phenix said it plans to use its new funding to continue developing features and functionality for rights holders, broadcasters and operators to deliver content and streams in near real-time. The need for ultra-low latency has taken on more urgency as live sports increasingly embrace interactive features including sports betting.

“Having led the previous rounds and being the first institutional investor in Phenix, we saw the massive market potential for the cutting-edge technology the company was developing. We believe the company is now poised for exponential growth as the sports and betting industries begin to leverage Phenix’s highly differentiated real-time technology,” said Keith Bank, KB Partners CEO and founder, in a statement.

“In the quickly changing world of sports and entertainment, gamification, micro wagering, and interactive fan experiences are necessary to compete and encourage digital engagement," said Kristina Serafim, managing director of Verizon Ventures, in a statement. "The team at Phenix is enabling this next evolution through its unparalleled real-time streaming video technology. We are proud to support their ongoing growth.”

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“Phenix is experiencing greater engagement around real-time streaming than ever before. With a number of recent commercial successes, the Series B raise puts us in a position to add resources and to capitalize on the burgeoning demand for real-time streaming,” said Phenix CEO Roy Reichbach in a statement.

Phenix uses the term “real-time streaming” to describe its custom-built version of WebRTC protocol, which it said sets it apart from companies using HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).

“All the current video conferencing tools like Zoom or Facetime use a form of RTC,” said Jed Corenthal, chief marketing officer at Phenix. “But the version of WebRTC that everybody uses doesn’t allow for a scalable audience. It wasn’t built for that more than 1,000.”

Phenix customers include Verizon Media, Disney, ABC, BT Sport and Sony Pictures.