Deezer claims $1.4bn valuation with TV Azteca partnership in Mexico

Deezer is doubling down on Latin America courtesy of a partnership with Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca that it says values the music streaming service at €1.3bn ($1.4bn). That’s based on a $40m investment in Deezer by TV Azteca over “a multi-year period”, and would mean that Deezer has not just maintained its ‘unicorn’ status – the […]

Production music firm Artlist raises $48m funding round

Israeli firm Artlist is one of the companies offering a royalty-free catalogue of licensed music (plus video clips and sound effects in its case) to filmmakers, YouTubers and games developers. Launched in 2016, it now has more than one million customers, with YouTube creators having swelled those ranks in recent years – making it a competitor to Epidemic […]

Pre-release promo tool Byta raises $1.9m seed funding round

Pre-release music promo and sharing service Byta has announced a new seed funding of $1.9m. The round was led by the Canadian Media Fund as well as private investors, such as Scott Kannberg (of indie band Pavement). The platform lets artists and labels securely share music with others in the industry ahead of release in a […]

Virtual reality concerts startup Wave raises $30m funding

It’s been a difficult couple of years for many virtual reality startups, with VR headset sales slower than expected, and in some cases funding drying up as investors lost their appetite for immersive content. There have been success stories though: musical VR game Beat Saber has sold more than 2m copies, with Facebook acquiring its developer last […]

Fan-funding startup Corite closes its seed funding round

Music Ally wrote about Swedish startup Corite when it launched last year as the latest way for artists to make money by selling off stakes in their songs to fans. In its first month of operation, it raised $24k in fan-funding for its first crop of artists. Now the company has been raising some funding of its own: a […]

Napster needs outside funding within the next 12 months

Tech firm RealNetworks has published its quarterly financial results, including as usual figures for music-streaming firm Napster, in which it holds an 84% stake. Napster’s subscription revenues grew from $24.3m in the first quarter of 2019 to $26.3m in the first quarter of 2020: an 8.2% rise, albeit one that reflects the small scale of the […]

Management firm ie:music launches ie:ventures to invest in startups

Yesterday, we reported on the launch of music-making app Endlesss. One of the British startup’s investors is music management company ie:music, through a new arm called ie:ventures. Director Stephen O’Reilly told us more about the new division, and why the company – whose artists include Robbie Williams, Passenger and Ladyhawke – is getting into startup […]

MelodyVR is raising $12m by selling more shares

We reported last week on virtual-reality music startup MelodyVR’s postponement of its planned expansion to Latin America and Asia Pacific, due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the company’s growth hopes continue: this morning the company – which is public – announced plans to raise $12m of new funding by selling shares to existing and new investors. After expenses, it’ll mean […]

Music monitoring startup Audoo’s latest funding round is £1.5m

Audoo is a British startup that has launched technology for monitoring music played in public spaces, in order to ensure the proper performance royalties are paid. The company has just raised £1.5m (just over $1.9m) in its latest funding round, with investors including Tileyard London – the fast-growing music hub into which Audoo will soon move […]

After 400m downloads, music apps firm MWM raises €50m

French company MWM is responsible for a suite of apps including DJ app edjing; music-making apps like Beatwave 3, Beat Maker Pro and Drum Machine; musician tools like Tuner and Metronome; and educational apps Piano, Guitar and Drums. Those apps have been downloaded more than 400m times so far, putting MWM up there with Gismart in terms […]

Mr Eazi reveals 30 more artists for emPawa Africa program

AfroPop star Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa is a talent incubator for artists in Africa: you may remember us writing about it in July 2019, when he inked a partnership with YouTube to support his latest cohort of Nigerian artists. Now he has named the latest 30 artists taking part in the program, who’ll all receive a $10k grant […]

Patreon CEO promises no ‘invisible boost’ to Capital creators

Last week, we reported on fan-funding service Patreon’s launch of a new service called ‘Patreon Capital’, providing cash advances to creators, repayable from future income earned on its platform. In an ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) interview on Reddit, CEO Jack Conte has been responding to some of the questions around how the model will work – including one about […]

Mindfulness startup (and Spotify partner) Headspace raises $93m

Back in November 2016, Spotify launched its first ‘bundle’ subscription with another digital service: meditation and mindfulness firm Headspace. The bundle still exists, although according to Headspace it’s only available in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and the UK. Since that bundle was announced, Headspace has continued to grow: its latest press release notes that its app has been […]

Abbey Road Red startups have raised $40m of funding so far

Abbey Road Red, the music/tech incubator run by Abbey Road Studios in London, held its latest demo event last night, including an update on its portfolio. “We have now incubated 15 companies across all areas of the value chain, who together have raised $40m and are collectively worth $200m,” said Abbey Road boss Isabel Garvey, […]

20 British artists to share £262k in latest MEGS funding

UK industry body the BPI has announced the latest recipients of the British government’s Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) funding, which helps local artists with ambitions to grow their audiences abroad. 20 artists are sharing £261.5k in the 17th ‘wave’ of MEGS grants, which are funded through the government’s Department for International Trade (DIT). There […]

Video-streaming service Quibi raises $400m of new funding

In August 2018, Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and tech exec-turned-politician Meg Whitman made waves by raising $1bn of seed funding for their startup NewTV, with plans to stream high-quality TV shows and films broken up into bitesize 10-minute episodes. Since then, NewTV has been renamed Quibi, and at this week’s CES show in Las Vegas it was […]

Corite raises $24k in fan-funding for artists in first month

Music Ally wrote about the beta launch of Swedish fan-funding startup Corite in October, with five artists raising money from fans in exchange for a share of their royalties. Now the company has provided an update on how it all went. “One month after the official launch, Corite has gathered thousands of registered users and closed ten […]

After 500m app downloads, Gismart kicks off external investment with Jambl

British music-apps developer Gismart has quietly become one of the bigger firms in the apps world, with more than 500m downloads of its products – which include Beat Maker Go, Piano Crush and DJ It. Now the company is starting to invest in external firms, starting with one of the winning music/tech startups from this summer’s Midemlab contest: Jambl. […]

Audio-tech startup Accusonus raises $3.3m funding round

Greek startup Accusonus has raised a Series A funding round of $3.3m, which the five year-old company will use to continue developing its “human-friendly audio software”. That means tools that use machine-learning technology to process audio, within software used by musicians, podcasters and video creators alike. For example, its most-recent product is Rhythmiq, “an instantly playable virtual instrument” […]

Ticketing exchange Lyte announces a $15m funding round

Here’s a new buzzphrase for the live-music industry: ‘post-primary ticketing’. What’s that? According to ticketing firm Lyte, it’s “private label ticketing services offered to fans by the most iconic sports and entertainment brands… a platform that addresses the customer needs ignored by the traditional secondary market, and it does so in a way that is […]

Music-for-gaming startup Five Vectors raises $1m funding round

A startup hoping to forge more links between the music and esports industries has raised a $1m seed funding round. The company is Five Vectors, and its business is focused around working with artists to create original music tracks, which can then be licensed to esports teams and organisations. The company was co-founded by former Universal Music Central […]

Alibaba reportedly buying a 20% stake in NetEase Cloud Music

Big moves are afoot in China’s music-streaming world, with reports that tech giant Alibaba is acquiring a 20% stake in NetEase Cloud Music, as part of a wider $2bn investment in the latter’s parent company NetEase. MBW suggests that the deal may value NetEase Cloud Music as high as $9bn – less than half that of rival […]

Music/tech VC firm DBTH Capital raises a €35m fund

The latest company hoping to make a splash in the music/tech investment scene is DBTH Capital, whose founding partner is veteran music executive Virginie Berger. It’s got some money to make that splash too. “Happy to announce that my VC Fund, DBTH Capital has raised €35 million in a first close of its first fund. The […]

Warner Music Group talks startups, technology and investment

In Music Ally’s latest analysis report, we take a look at the three major labels’ strategies around music/tech startups and investment. The full report is for Music Ally subscribers only, but you can sign up for a free trial, which includes access to the latest report. An extract from it follows, focusing on Warner Music […]

Production-music startup Soundstripe raises $2m

It feels like a matter of months since we were writing about Nashville production-music startup Soundstripe raising a $4m funding round… mainly because it IS just a matter of months. That round in May 2019 is now being followed by another $2m of investment, from Craft Ventures. That’s a good score for Soundstripe: the VC firm is run […]

Vampr shoots past $100k in its equity-crowdfunding campaign

Startup Vampr has been around since 2016, as one of the startups hoping to create a ‘LinkedIn for musicians’ industry-focused social network. It has since raised $900k of funding from angel investors and industry executives, but in 2019 the company is turning to the crowd for more money. Vampr has launched an equity-crowdfunding campaign this week using […]

Ticketing service TickPick raises $40m funding round

TickPick started life in 2011 as a secondary ticketing website, but has since expanded into primary ticketing too, working directly with festivals, sporting bodies and other entertainment events in the US. Now the company has raised its first ever round of institutional funding, and it’s a biggish one: $40m from investment firm PWP Growth Equity. […]

Concert-sound startup Mixhalo raises $10.7m funding round

Mixhalo is one of the music/tech startups that was actually founded by professional musicians: violinist Ann Marie Simpson-Einziger and Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger. The startup claims to be “democratising audio at live events” by streaming top-notch audio to people’s smartphones. “Build onstage VIP seating or offer an audio upgrade in the nosebleeds,” as its pitch puts […]

UMG and WMG execs talk startups and innovation at Sonar+D

Behind the music industry’s fiercely competitive public face hides a wider spirit of digital collaboration, according to Tuhin Roy, the executive who leads Universal Music’s efforts to support early-stage digital music companies. Roy was speaking at the Sónar+D conference in Barcelona alongside Warner Music’s Tiago Teixeira Correia, on a panel that gave a rare glimpse into the […]

Music’n’meditation app Wave raises $5.7m for its launch

We’ve been writing about the monster funding rounds and music activities (e.g. an exclusive Moby album) for mindfulness startup Calm recently, while rival Headspace was one of the first companies to partner with Spotify on bundled subscriptions. Now there’s another player in the music+meditation sector: Wave. It has raised just under $5.7m in seed funding to […]

LyricFind gets government funding to spread Canadian lyrics

Lyrics firm LyricFind has found a new source of funding: money from the Department of Canadian Heritage Creative Export Canada program. It’ll be used in a two-year project to support “the licensing, transcription and translation of Canadian artists and songwriters’ lyrics”, as well as generating royalties for those lyrics across the world. And this isn’t […]

Meditation app Calm raises $27m more funding at $1bn valuation

We’ve written about meditation startup Calm several times this year: for example when it raised an $88m funding round in February (an announcement that made us wonder whether Spotify would be doing more with meditation), and when it was the exclusive distribution partner for a new album by artist Moby the following month. Now there’s some more news – […]

Cameo raises $50m for its celebrity-shoutouts app

Startup Cameo has an app that lets people pay between $5 and $3k to get personalised video messages from celebrities, including Snoop Dogg – also an investor in the company. Now Cameo has raised a $50m funding round to continue building a business that it claims is currently generating around 300k transactions a month, with the company […]

Sofar Sounds raises ‘mind-blowing’ $25m funding round

Live-music startup Sofar Sounds has announced a funding round of $25m, led by VC firms Battery Ventures and Union Square Ventures. “It’s absolutely mind-blowing, and I’m excited for the opportunity this creates for Sofar to grow, creating new products for artists and tools for our global community to deliver on our collective mission to support […]

Amplify will be the next platform for fans to invest in artists

There are already a number of companies making it possible for fans and high-wealth individuals to invest in musicians, from the familiar crowdfunding platforms like Patreon to the likes of Royalty Exchange. The latest startup falling into the latter category is Amplify, which is planning to launch a private beta of its service this summer. “Amplify […]

Will Smith chips in to $46m funding for esports firm Gen.G

The latest esports startup tapping celebrities for investment is Gen.G, a company best known (to outsiders anyway) for its ownership of the Seoul Dynasty franchise – a team that plays in the official esports league for the game Overwatch. The company has raised a $46m funding round, with actor/musician Will Smith among the investors chipping […]

Music-making firm Splice raises a $57.5m funding round

Splice is one of the most popular online tools for creating music – and accessing samples – with more than 2.5 million users according to its latest figures. That growth, having added a million in the last year, is exciting investors too. Splice has just raised a $57.5m Series C funding round, with VC firms […]

Fan-messaging startup I Am Pop raises €2m in funding

I Am Pop is one of the startups trying to help musicians and music brands make better use of messaging apps in their marketing. It’s already working with artists signed to labels including Sony Music, Warner Music, AWAL and PIAS, and now the company has a new €2m funding round to help grow its business. I […]

Podcasting startup Himalaya Media raises $100m funding round

It’s the week for big podcasting news. Spotify has made waves with its acquisitions of Gimlet Media and Anchor, but other podcasting firms are also capitalising on current interest in the medium. US startup Himalaya Media, for example, has raised $100m in funding to push its podcast-listening app and distribution platform. The app launched in […]

Calm raises $88m: should meditation be on Spotify’s audio radar?

Spotify said yesterday that podcasts are just the ‘start’ of its ambitions to focus on all forms of audio. What next? We’d suggest that meditation / mindfulness will be high on the company’s radar – and not just because one of its first subscription-bundle partnerships was with meditation app Headspace back in 2016. Investor interest […]

Former BMG exec Zach Katz launches music-tech investment fund

Until December 2018, Zach Katz was BMG’s president of US repertoire. Now he’s turning music/tech investor, in partnership with manager Scooter Braun, cryptocurrency firm Ripple, and Something Gold boss Shara Senderoff. They’ve co-founded an investment firm called Raised in Space Enterprises, which will focus on music/tech startups. Billboard reported that the company will look to […]

Artist-collab platform HitRecord raises $6.4m funding round

We wrote about startup HitRecord for the first time last October, when it launched a project with artist Logic. He was the highest-profile musician so far to take advantage of HitRecord’s platform for creative collaborations: posting the bones of a new track and inviting fans to flesh it out with their own contributions – with […]

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