Liveblocks grabs $5 million for its real-time collaboration API

Liveblocks has raised a $5 million seed round. The startup lets you turn a regular web app into a multiplayer product with high-level hosted APIs. In addition to its live presence state API, the company is launching its live storage API.

Boldstart is leading today’s round. Atlassian, Kima Ventures, Seedcamp as well as multiple business angels also participated. Boldstart and Seedcamp already invested in the company’s pre-seed round.

Over the past few years, building a web app has become easier thanks to frameworks and APIs. But letting multiple people interact with the same document, form, whiteboard or piece of content is still incredibly hard.

Liveblocks essentially helps you get there faster. The startup first released a live presence state API. When you open a document in Google Docs, you can see several profile pictures in the top-right corner. It tells you who is viewing a document right now. And you can see if someone else is moving their cursor or selecting some text.

When you integrate Liveblocks’ presence API, you can take advantage of the API to display the list of people currently viewing a document just like in Google Docs. It can also track everyone’s cursors in real time.

While this is somewhat useful, the startup has been working on another API that opens up a lot of possibilities. With its live storage API, several people can view and edit data simultaneously. It can be used to create collaborative whiteboards, a note-taking app, a multiplayer CMS, etc.

The hardest part of real-time data collaboration is conflict resolution. Liveblocks tries to minimize issues with offline support, and multiplayer undo and redo. If you’re using a library like Zustand or Redux, you can integrate Liveblocks so that multiple users can interact with data at the same time.

Over the past three months, the total number of connections to Liveblocks rooms have increased by 10x. And this metric should increase rapidly as remote work and software-as-a-service products become more popular.