Emmett Shear

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Web Summit 2018 - Contentmakers - Day 2, November 7 SM7 9280 (45715722382).jpg

Emmett Shear (born 1983) is an Internet entrepreneur and investor.[1][a] He is the co-founder of live video platforms Justin.tv and TwitchTV. He's also a part-time partner at venture capital firm Y Combinator.[2] Shear is also co-founder of Kiko Software, the first AJAX-based online calendar.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Shear went to Yale University and graduated with a degree in Computer Science in 2005.


In 2006, Shear, along with partners Justin Kan, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt, started Justin.tv, a 24-7 live video feed of Kan's life, broadcast via a webcam attached to his head.[4]

Kan's "lifecasting" lasted about eight months but the four partners decided to transition to providing a live video platform so anyone could publish a live video stream. Justin.tv, the platform, launched in 2007[5][6] and was one of the largest live video platforms in the world with more than 30 million unique users every month until it was shut down on August 5, 2014.

On August 29, 2011, Shear became CEO.[7]


After Justin.tv launched in 2006, the site quickly began building subject-specific content categories like Social, Tech, Sports, Entertainment, News & Events, Gaming, and others. Gaming configuration, in particular, grew very fast and became the most popular content on the site.[8]

In June 2011,[9] the company decided to spin off the gaming content under a separate brand and site. They named it TwitchTV, inspired by the term twitch gameplay. It launched officially in public beta on June 6, 2011.[10]

As of August 25, 2014 Amazon has officially acquired Twitch.tv for a reported $970,000,000.[11]

Y Combinator[edit]

Shear became a part-time partner at Y Combinator in June 2011, where he offers advice to the new startups in each batch.[12] He was a member of the first batch of YC-funded startups in 2005 for Kiko Calendar, and was funded by YC again for Justin.tv.[13]


  1. ^ Name appeared as "Emmett Sheer" in "The ESPN of Videogames", Forbes (paper), ppg. 36,40, 2 Nov 2013.


  1. ^ "Forty Under 40: Emmett Shear, Twitch". March 9, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  2. ^ "Y Combinator's latest partners are also alums". VentureBeat.
  3. ^ "Kiko". crunchbase.com.
  4. ^ "IT'S JUSTIN, LIVE! ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT! / S.F. startup puts camera on founder's head for real-time feed, and a star is born". San Francisco Chronicle.
  5. ^ Liz Gannes. "Justin.tv Wins Funding, Opens Platform". gigaom.com. Archived from the original on June 17, 2012.
  6. ^ "Grab a webcam and give lifecasting a try". CNN.
  7. ^ "After A Hot Start, Justin.tv Spins Off Socialcam, Its 'Instagram for Video'". TechCrunch. AOL.
  8. ^ "Live-streaming site Justin.tv buffing up for e-sports channels". VentureBeat.
  9. ^ Ewalt, David M. (December 2, 2013). "The ESPN of Videogames". Forbes. p. 40.
  10. ^ Alex Wilhelm (June 6, 2011). "TwitchTV: Justin.tv's killer new esports project". The Next Web.
  11. ^ "Here's Why Amazon Just Paid Nearly $1 Billion For A Site Where You Watch People Play Video Games". Business Insider. August 25, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  12. ^ "Good night, Posterous". posterous.com.
  13. ^ "Y Combinator's latest partners are also alums". VentureBeat.

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