Artist-Advance start-up beatBread completes $34 million seed round

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Photo credit: Markus Winkler

Artist startup beatBread announced the completion of a seed funding round, which brought its total capital raised to over $34 million.

San Francisco-headquartered VC Deciens Capital led the multimillion-dollar round, which was also backed by Credit One Bank backer IAG Capital Partners and Wakie shareholder Afore Capital. , among several other fintech-focused investors.

Established in November 2020, Utah-headquartered beatBread says it has provided north of 300 advances to artists and labels so far, ranging from $1,000 to $2 million each. Superiors issue advances based in part on applicants’ presence on streaming services, and the startup’s website notes that musicians may not be eligible for capital if they “don’t get 10,000 monthly listeners on Spotify on a regular basis”.

As for the logistical specifics of said advances, beatBread’s website explains that the company will distribute payments against catalog royalties or compensation for upcoming releases, with applicants selecting the length of term and the music included. Recipients can purportedly spend the money however they see fit, and the text also emphasizes that the advance balance will not increase in size or affect the long-term ownership of the underlying intellectual property.

Addressing his growing business in a statement, beatBread co-founder and CEO Peter Sinclair outlined his vision for accessible, non-predatory advancements in today’s streaming-focused music industry.

“We are thrilled to partner with Deciens and other experienced investors to continue to grow and provide broader access to flexible capital to more artists,” said the former SVP of Universal Music Group for the consumption and e-commerce.

“This investment will allow us to expand our feature set and expand the already large capital pool of beatBread’s network of invited investors. In the legacy music industry, artists were forced to sacrifice control of their careers and their masters to access growth capital. Our mission is to enable artists to access capital on their own terms,” he concluded.

In a discussion last year with Steve Stoute – whose major label alternative UnitedMasters raised $100m in 2021 – Pharrell Williams likened label advances to “illegal” loans. Also on the non-label front, song playback monitor Utopia Music purchased Nashville-based artist business Lyric Financial in late October 2021.

Lyric Financial reported at the time that it had funded more than 22,000 advances, with a cumulative value of $100 million. And in the roughly three months since the companies announced the sale, Switzerland-based Utopia has completed a number of additional acquisitions.

It’s worth mentioning in conclusion that the past few weeks have delivered a range of new catalog buys, and some of the deals include upfront payments for royalty streams. Primary Wave, for example, bought a larger stake in Def Leppard’s publishing catalog as well as part of the act’s “primary royalty revenue stream” before signing a similar deal with Layne’s estates. Staley and Mike Starr.

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