BRISTOL, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Condense – the world’s first company to deliver the power, connection and immersion of real live events in the metaverse – has raised a $4.5 million funding round led by LocalGlobe, 7percent Ventures and Deeptech Labs, alongside angels including platinum grime-selling artist, former England footballer and sportscaster Tom Blomfield (Monzo), renowned music director Grace Ladoja MBE and Ian Hogarth (Song Kick).
Founded in Bristol in 2019, Condense is the only company in the world with the end-to-end capture and streaming technology to live stream real-world events such as music and sporting events in 3D applications. The company uses state-of-the-art computer vision, machine learning, and proprietary streaming infrastructure to capture and integrate live 3D video (Video 3.0) into any metaverse game, mobile app, or platform built with Unity or UnrealEngine.
This means realistic live performances can be streamed directly into the virtual worlds and gaming platforms used by billions of people around the world – without the need for VR headsets. Because events are streamed live as three-dimensional “real-world” video, each player’s perspective is as unique and dynamic as if they were attending a physical live event – and their experience just as memorable.
In addition to the funding announcement, the company has also opened the world’s first metaverse studio in partnership with Watershed – Bristol’s cultural film and creative tech venue – to give established artists and emerging talent access to technology. The studio is a “metaverse-first” event space, and can also accommodate a live audience. In partnership with another organization, a studio in London will open soon followed by other studios internationally.
With Condense, streaming live in three dimensions to the metaverse is as natural and easy as playing in front of a conventional camera, without the need for green screens or post-production, allowing immediate connection with the audience in real time.
Bristol-based singer and producer Grove, who was among the first artists to pioneer Condense technology, said: “The minds behind the technology are pushing the boundaries of technology-based performance sharing. It’s great for accessibility and opens up exciting new opportunities for fans to connect with their favorite artists.
Video 3.0 gives fans whole new online experiences. Audiences can attend concerts or sporting events with friends, with the freedom to move among virtual crowds and get closer to the action. Because the performances are live, fans can interact with the artist – a digital step up from holding a banner at a concert – and artists can respond in real time, shouting, answering questions or interpreting a requested lead.
Condense harnesses the feelings of connection you get from seeing your favorite band, artist, team or sports star perform live, while introducing an unprecedented level of access, participation and inclusion – while providing artists , rightsholders and meta platforms to the opportunity to create entirely new revenue streams.
Grace Ladoja MBE, co-founder of METALLIC INC and manager of renowned artists, said: “Culture and community are what keep music going. This is how we connect with where we came from and where we want to go. Condense’s technology opens up a new platform for these communities and cultures, diversifying the voices in the metaverse by making it alive and accessible. It has the potential to inspire and empower a new movement of artists and fans. It’s both exciting and important.
Ziv Reichert, Partner at LocalGlobe (recently ranked the UK’s top seed investor by Dealroom) said: “Hundreds of millions of people are hanging out on immersive 3D platforms like Roblox, Rec Room, Fortnite, Sandbox, Decentraland and VRChat; attend virtual events, socialize and be creative. At the same time, gamer demand for live entertainment in these virtual worlds has never been greater. Condense has built the infrastructure to connect the two – now musical artists, sports stars and creatives can perform and perform live in the metaverse, in front of the biggest stadium audience imaginable.
Andrew Gault, founding partner of 7percent ventures, said: “When I invested in Oculus nearly 10 years ago, the dream was to deliver experiences that seamlessly merge the digital and the physical. Condense has now made this possible across all video games and platforms, without the need for VR headsets. What they’ve built is already a reality and it’s going to change the way the whole world engages online.
Miles Kirby, CEO of Deeptech Labs, said, “The Metaverse requires new infrastructure, much of which is innovative and requires next-generation machine learning and machine vision. Condense has the deep tech experience and vision to make the Metaverse the number one destination for live events.
Condense CEO and co-founder Nick Fellingham said: “The Bristol scene has long been a melting pot of different cultures and music and in recent years has also become a hub for game development. Now we will put Bristol back on the map with the world’s first Metaverse live streaming studio to bring together the energy of live events with the massive scale of the Metaverse. The Video 3.0 infrastructure we’ve built takes the technical complexity out of live streaming into the metaverse, so people are free to put their creativity into it. Video 3.0 will change not only the way we experience live events online, but fundamentally the way we engage. with each other.”
Condense is the only company in the world to stream real-world live events into the metaverse. The company’s first product, Condense Live, enables music and sports rights holders to stream volumetric live video directly to online gaming platforms, creating entirely new experiences for gamers and new revenue streams. Based in Bristol, the company was founded in 2019 and is backed by investors including LocalGlobe, 7percent Ventures and Deeptech Labs and angels including Tom Blomfield, Grace Ladoja MBE and Ian Hogarth.
LocalGlobe is one of the world’s leading seed funds of the Phoenix Court Group, which focuses on pre-seed and seed-stage EMEA investing. The fund’s experience in supporting founders and their teams early in their journey means that it has spotted more unicorns at the seed stage than any other European investor. LocalGlobe’s seed-stage investments include At-Bay, Hailo, Motorway, Travelperk and Zego. LocalGlobe’s portfolio companies, and its sister escape fund Latitude, have raised more than $9.4 billion in follow-on capital in the past 12 months, from some of the world’s best investors, who share our belief in the ability of these founders to build sustainable businesses.
About 7% Companies
7percent Ventures is an ex-founder-led, network-focused transatlantic seed fund based in London and the West Coast of the United States. They invest early in technology that is transformative and can monopolize a large market, supporting start-ups through a vast network of advisors. They are looking for breakthrough multi-billion dollar ideas that will have a positive impact on our world, conveying the least risky or least ambitious opportunities.
About Deeptech Laboratories
Deeptech Labs is a venture capital fund, accelerator and catalyst for deep tech success. Twice a year, its cohort of start-ups is integrated into a powerful network of successful entrepreneurs, expert practitioners, leading researchers and deeptech organizations around the world. Deeptech Labs is founded by ARM, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Martlet Capital and the University of Cambridge – leading institutions at the heart of Cambridge and global technology ecosystems. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, UK.
Watershed is a Bristol-based hub that champions commitment, imagination and ingenuity, working locally, nationally and globally. Watershed presents a diverse program of films, events, festivals, artist commissions and has audiences and participation at heart. The space opened in 1982 and has declared itself ‘Britain’s premier media centre’ seeking to capture and contextualise the evolution of media and is the leading center for film, culture and digital media of the South West.