Freshsound, headquartered in Stockholm, grabs €1.3 million in a pre-seed round which saw participation from Aligned Ventures, Kristina Tunkrans, Shiv Prakash, Marcus Konstantino, Gustav Nordlindh, Kim Fai Kok and Dara Gill. The startup company provides pre-cleared licensing services for music synchronization with the help of AI and human creativity. This capital will allow Freshsound further with expansion and focus on product development and R&D along with enriching its catalog. To deal with the workload, the Swedish startup is planning to welcome new members to its team. Helen McLaughlin will lead its expansion of catalog.
Freshsound Raises €1.3m & Recruits Former Sony Music & Warner Music Executive Helen McLaughlin to Lead Expansion of Catalog
Freshsound is building the next-generation platform for licensing original music for brands and professional storytellers
Freshsound, a Stockholm-based licensing platform for original music, announced today that it has raised a €1.3 million pre-seed round from a group of renowned angel investors and family offices. Investors include Aligned Ventures, Kristina Tunkrans (former Partner at Cederquist, CEO of PRMD publishing/AtNight and Chief of Music, Epidemic Sound), Shiv Prakash (former VP of Investment, Hipgnosis Song Fund), Marcus Konstantino (Partner, HDR Partners), Gustav Nordlindh (Founder and CEO at Royal Streaming), Kim Fai Kok and Dara Gill (Framtid). The company has also recruited Helen McLaughlin, former Managing Director of Warner Music Sweden, Head of A&R at Sony Music Sweden, Head of A&R and Business Development at The Kennel and CEO at V2 Music Scandinavia to lead its expansion of catalog.
With the massive growth of content marketing and streaming services creating original content, the need for premium and original music is bigger than ever. However, licensing original songs for commercial use (branded content, games, films, and TV series) can take months to complete. This is driven by a cumbersome process involving multiple parties, complex negotiations, and time-consuming administrative work with labels, songwriters or any rights-holder. For brands and creators, this means to “give up” on the perfect music for their content in favor of a much faster and easier process.
Freshsound has created an automated pre-cleared licensing platform and a marketplace for original music that removes all the friction of negotiating and lets creators and storytellers instantly license premium songs for their content. The platform also has a music discovery feature and a dynamic pricing model that instantly gives clients a quote for any type of use. Freshsound has already signed agreements with over 60 labels and publishers, fully pre-clearing the music and is continuously adding more songs. Big ad agencies like McCann and Forsman Bodenfors have already used Freshsound’s platform for their campaigns.
“The sync and licensing market is still stuck in the pen and paper era, and is yet to be digitized. While it is growing and we see an increased demand for quality music, the process of licensing songs is too complex and time consuming. This results in songwriters and artists losing out on potential profits, while creators and storytellers are missing the opportunity to get the perfect song for their visual content.
We want to ensure that the rights holders remain in full control and ownership of their rights and to make it easier than ever to license premium music.” said Stephen Gyasi, CEO & co-founder of Freshsound. “We are also very proud to bring onboard Helen McLaughlin as our Head of Catalog. She’s a respected name in the industry that brings enormous experience and know-how to Freshsound.”
“I have spent more than three decades working in the music industry and seen its pivotal shift from the physical to the digital era. During the last years, artists, labels, composers and publishers have lost huge amounts of business within the sync space to companies offering musical works not registered with public rights organisations – this mainly due to the time-consuming clearance process.” said Helen McLaughlin, Head of Catalogue at Freshsound.
“I am very humble to the complexity of clearing music, but the need of a tool to make the process quicker and more seamless yet still allowing creators and rights holders to set their own terms and requirements in what context their music should be available for customers is paramount. I am really excited to join the Freshsound team as the platform offers all of this – even allowing it on a track by track basis – whilst keeping the pricing individual and matching available works with whatever the sync customer is looking for.”
Freshsound’s new funding will facilitate the company’s plans to rapidly accelerate its commercial expansion, expand its catalog, product development and R&D, and launch its licensing platform in the Nordics, Germany and UK. With a team already drawing from their experience at companies and record labels like Warner Music, V2 Music, Hipgnosis, Spotify, Epidemic Sound, EMI, Sony Music, iZettle, Dassault Systèmes and BCG, Freshsound will also use the fresh capital to continue onboarding exceptional talent to the company.