Swedish startup anotherblock has raised $1.2m in a pre-seed funding round to fulfil its founding vision to support music creators, and increase the value of their work by launching a marketplace for music rights which will use blockchain to democratise music ownership. Underscoring the music industry support for anotherblock’s mission, numerous creators are backing the company, including (as an investor) DJ, music producer and label owner (and member of Swedish House Mafia), Steve Angello. Advisors to the project include legendary Canadian-American music producer Doc McKinney.
The round was led by Stockholm-based early stage VC J12. Additional participation came from Sebastian Knutsson (founder of King, maker of Candy Crush); Mattias Miksche (founder of Stardoll, angel investor in Sana Labs, Estrid, Teamtailor); and Mathias Ackermand (co-founder of Transmode and angel-investor in successful startups like e.g. Fishbrain, Fast Travel Games, Next Games, 46 Elks and Freespee).
Stockholm-headquartered anotherblock is launching a blockchain-based marketplace for music rights in the first half of 2022 and will use blockchain to empower creators and add value to their art. The startup solves three issues: inability for ordinary investors to access prominent asset-class, difficulty liquidising and opening-up music rights to a broader market, and a corresponding undervaluation of the music itself.
NFTs will be the initial focus of anotherblock, at first by introducing tokens connected to royalty rights. Each of these NFTs will generate royalties corresponding to ownership. Secondly, by creating unique NFTs where the buyer is the sole individual who can enjoy the art (whether in-person or within the metaverse). Artists who put their rights on the blockchain will receive a transaction payment / trade-royalty every time the NFT is traded, in perpetuity. anotherblock will also focus on rights management for artists and labels on the blockchain once the NFT marketplace is established and operating.
Michel D. Traore, CEO, leads the founding team. He was formerly head of international expansion for Lendo, the fintech success story from Oslo-based digital media powerhouse Schibsted. Michel is joined by Sebastian Ljungberg, CTO (most recently in-house blockchain expert at Nasdaq); and Filip Strömsten, COO, who has been working on finding a solution for artists to take charge of ownership since 2019 (when, as a 19 year old producer, he secured a record deal which he perceived to be deeply imbalanced).
Michel D. Traore, CEO of anotherblock, says: “Sweden has a long history of being at the forefront of both creativity and innovation within the music industry, and we know that to maintain new and exciting music, creators must be supported and receive fair payment for their work. Unless profound changes are implemented in the way that artists can monetise their creativity, the music industry is in a race to the bottom. anotherblock is the solution: harnessing the latest technology and industry expertise, our platform will protect the creators, and support them as they continue enriching society and our culture.”