Linkfire has impressively rolled out its platform to key players in the music industry throughout the world in just a year. The investment, which also has the backing of a number of business angels, will aid Linkfire’s expansion to the US and to other entertainment verticals.
Linkfire has now closed a large seed investment round of € 2.3 M. The investors are Northcap who invested $2.3M in combination with syndication loan from the Danish Growth Fund (Vækstfonden), and with the remainder coming from a group of business angels. Among the angels is Thomas Sehested, who in 2010 sold the antipiracy company DtecNet to the US trademark protection firm Mark Monitor.
Thomas Sehested brings extensive industry experience and has a solid understanding of the US market. He’ll also be joining the company as chairman of the board. Lars Ettrup, cofounder and CEO of Linkfire has no doubt that the new investors are key to even greater international success:
“We’ve got an outstanding team. In our dialogue with investors it was a criteria from the very beginning that they share our passion, chemistry and vision. Together with our team, Northcap’s internationalisation and business expertise and the industry specific knowledge of our chairman, Thomas Sehested, you have a pretty powerful combination!”
Linkfire Solves Some of the Key Challenges in the Music Industry
Music consumption has never been more fragmented with content distributed across multiple platforms, services and devices. For record labels dealing with artists and their global fan bases this consumption complexity can be a puzzle. For example, every time a record label or artist promotes an album by sending out an iTunes link, there is a Spotify, Apple Music or Google Play user that loses out. Being selective towards a specific platform can affect your marketing performance negatively by misdirecting consumers.
Linkfire solves this challenge by intelligently routing any consumer to their preferred music service, on their preferred device, in their preferred app. It provides a better experience for the consumer and ensures a higher marketing return on investment for the record label.
In general the entertainment market is transforming. Consumers are moving from ownership to access, downloads to streaming. Linkfire focuses on aiding businesses to solving their marketing pains that comes with these new consumption patterns. Linkfire’s ability to understand and adapt to these changes is something that has impressed the investors.
Jacob Bratting Pedersen, Partner in Northcap, explains why they chose to invest in Linkfire:
“Linkfire has rapidly adapted their technology to solve some growing pains for both record labels and consumers. Within the last year the startup has signed the three largest record labels in the world. It’s quite an achievement. Together with their talented and ambitious team we’ve already started executing our internationalisation plans both within music, but also in other verticals.”
Validated by the world’s largest record labels and rolled out in more than 60 countries Linkfire decided in September 2014 to focus entirely on the music industry, and since then it has been a rollercoaster journey for the two founders, Lars Ettrup and Jeppe Faurfelt.
In just one year, Linkfire has closed contracts with the world’s largest record labels Universal Music Group, Warner Music and Sony Music. World renowned artists like Sam Smith, The Weeknd and Rolling Stones are now frequently promoted using Linkfire.
In spring 2015 Universal Music Group signed a global contract with Linkfire meaning that Linkfire is presently active in more than 60 countries. Cofounder and CCO Jeppe Faurfelt has no doubt why their strategy stands out:
“We take a very personal approach and co-create with all our clients. This ensures that client expectations and our business objectives are aligned and transferred into the product. But close relationships are difficult to build across time zones and great distances. That’s why we’re expanding to the US, the world’s largest entertainment market.”
New York Office Is Just the Beginning
October 2015 sees the opening of Linkfire’s first office outside Denmark in Williamsburg, New York. The startup is keen to capitalise on the momentum of new content consumption patterns in the US.
Linkfire and its investors are confident that their validated and ready-to-go product has a big advantage over US competitors. Thomas Sehested sees this as only the beginning of a major growth trajectory for Linkfire:
“Linkfire has a huge potential in the music industry, and there are great opportunities to expand the business to other verticals such as film & TV, books and games. Additionally Linkfire sits on a rapidly growing body of global entertainment consumption data. The value of the insights this data can provide could exceed the value of the rest of the business put together.”
This article is published in collaboration with Øresund Startups, originally written by Karsten Deppert. Øresund Startups is a news site focusing on startups in Copenhagen and the other cities around the Øresund strait; Malmö, Helsingborg and Lund. It was initiated by Karsten Deppert and covers news about startups and events from the startup scene. You can follow them at @Oresundstartups.