Music collaboration platform EngineEars, founded by Grammy-winning MixedByAli, raises $7.5m

Image courtesy of EngineEars
(L-R) EngineEars' Luke Sorenson; Drive Capital Partners John Volquez and Chris Olsen; Derek ‘MixedByAli’ Ali.

EngineEars, the music/tech startup that bills itself as “a vertical software platform for artists, engineers, producers and record labels,” has expanded its services to include instant booking of studios and announced it has raised USD $7.5 million in a seed funding round.

The round was led by VC firm Drive Capital, with participation from 645 Ventures, as well as existing investors Slauson & Co. and FLÜS Investment Group (the venture arm of SALxCO).

Other investors in the startup include Kendrick Lamar, EMPIRE founder and CEO Ghazi, Alex da Kid, Roddy Ricch, Mustard, YG, DJ Khaled and Russ, as well as Tunde Balogun and Sean Famoso, co-founders of Atlanta-based label Love Renaissance (LVRN).

With the expansion EngineEars services to include studio bookings, “we not only provide an easily searchable repository of vetted recording studios for artists to access globally, but also enable studio owners to streamline the management of bookings through seamless scheduling and direct calendar integration, and automated payment splits to the personnel working each studio session,” EngineEars co-founder and CTO Luke Sorenson said.

EngineEars was launched in late 2020 and raised its first $1 million in 2021.

It offers software solutions that it says are designed to “streamline the music collaboration and business management processes between recording artists, audio engineers, record labels, and now recording studios, enabling an artist to take their song from inception to completion on one platform,” as the company put it in a statement issued on Tuesday (February 20).

“With music creation exploding at all levels, the need for collaboration tools and streamlined file transfer, scheduling, and payment solutions has never been greater.”

Derek ‘MixedByAli’ Ali

It was co-founded by MixedByAli (aka Derek Ali), a multiple Grammy-winning audio engineer who has worked with Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Killer Mike, Childish Gambino, Nipsey Hussle and others.

“When I started my career as an independent audio engineer I witnessed first-hand the fragmented and antiquated processes inhibiting my potential growth as a small business. Based on necessity, we went out to develop the EngineEars platform,” MixedbyAli said in a statement.

While hosting workshops in North America, Europe and East Asia, MixedByAli was “surprised to realize” that the creators attending his workshops were “dealing with all of the same issues I deal with often as an audio engineer, and I’m one of the biggest engineers in music,” he said in a 2021 interview with Forbes.

That – coupled with the rapid expansion of new tools and technologies enabling unprecedented levels of music creation today – inspired him to launch EngineEars.

“With music creation exploding at all levels, the need for collaboration tools and streamlined file transfer, scheduling, and payment solutions has never been greater,” he said.

EngineEars says it has paid out over $3.5 million to platform service providers to date.

“We’re big believers in founders working to solve their own problems, and Derek [Ali] is absolutely doing that by bringing efficiencies to the historically inefficient process of payments and collaboration in the music industry,” Drive Capital Partner Chris Olsen said.

“We believe in Derek’s vision to build EngineEars into the platform where investment in music happens.”Music Business Worldwide

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