Surprised to see a company raising an €1.8M round that is targetting Karaoke? Perhaps you will be even further surprised to find out that the worldwide Karaoke market size is over €10 billion, according to Samu Keränen, the CEO of SingOn. At this point, your first surprise should be fading away, and we can start talking about the company.
SingOn was founded in 2009 and for a while was concentrating on a web-based karaoke solution. They reached 100 000 users on it, and although the company was growing, things could still be better. They found that it was a little too difficult to plug your computer to the TV and in general it required a bit too much effort to start singing.
With that, they decided to build the “3rd Generation Karaoke Service”. Keränen tells us that the very first generation revolved around traditional karaoke machines, which required discs, amplifiers, etc. It was bulky, difficult, expensive and the music quality was not that good either.
Then came SingStar, the Sony Playstation Karaoke game that made the whole experience better: easy to install, complete with background vocals, and a great selection of songs. Through dozens of instalments, the lifecycle of the series is probably one of the most impressive ones in the gaming industry.
However as Keränen tells us, this can be improved and that is what SingOn is attempting to do. According to Keränen, “SingStar has an outdated business model. Users do not get the content as fast as they should and it is limited to Playstation.”
So, to compete, SingOn will introduce Spotify like streaming of songs, will bring songs to the platform in a matter of weeks after their radio releases, launch it on many platforms and all TV Devices. They will also introduce a new way of singing karaoke, for which they have filed a patent.
Finally, they want to make sure that you do not need to buy any extra equipment. If you want, you will be able to use your phone as a microphone or even your TV controllers, which now often come with built-in microphones.
To fund all that, the €1.8 million round comes from over ten angels and also includes ELY money. The private proportion of the round is €1.5 million. Together with the previous round of €500 000 from Vision+, the company has raised a total of €2.3 million and has offices in Oulu, Finland and Brighton, UK.
The new version of SingOn will launch first in the UK on the 14th of April and they are aiming to expand to the US, New Zealand and Australia during the course of 2014.