Direct-to-fan platform Medallion has raised USD $13.7 million in a Series A funding round, the company announced on Thursday (December 21).
The round was led by global crypto venture fund Dragonfly (also an investor in Nas and Lil Baby-backed metaverse firm Everyrealm) and Lightspeed Faction, a blockchain-focused venture capital firm. Other participants included tech investors Coinbase Ventures, Infinite Capital, J17, The Chemin Group, Third Prime and Zeal Capital.
Investors from the music industry included Bill Silva Entertainment, Black Squirrel Partners (founded by members of Metallica), Guy Lawrence of electronic music duo Disclosure, Foundations Artist Management, electronic music project Jungle, indie rock band Mt. Joy, Method, Canadian DJ Tiga and artist development/management firm TAG Music.
Medallion says it plans to use the funds to “accelerate an ambitious technical roadmap to deliver net new revenue opportunities for artists and immersive experiences for community members around pivotal artist moments”.
Medallion is one of a growing number of companies seeking better ways for artists to monetize superfans, that segment of the music audience that is willing to pay more for artist merch, exclusive content and enhanced access to their favorite artists – or what Medallion calls “highest intent fans.”
The company says that, since launching in 2022, it has scaled to around 200,000 music fans, and numerous musical artists, including Disclosure, My Morning Jacket, Jungle, Greta Van Fleet, Tycho and Sigur Rós, are using the platform’s white-label fan experience and e-commerce services.
The company boasts that Medallion-powered communities “quickly became artists’ fastest-growing community channel, attracting 86% more members than their Facebook Groups, 161% more than Reddit, and 206% more than Discord.”
The Series A funding round follows an initial seed funding round in 2022 that raised more than $9 million. That round was led by The Chemin Group, and included investments by Polygon Ventures, Mike Shinoda, Betaworks, Red Light Ventures and Noise DAO, along with Medallion artists iLLENNIUM and Tycho.
The company is led by Matt Jones, the former CEO of Warner-owned concert discovery service Songkick. The leadership team includes veterans from Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, Grailed, Warner Music Group and Live Nation.
“Artists owning direct access to their fans is critical, but they also need more ways to deliver value for it to drive impact,” Jones said in a statement issued Thursday.
“Artists are starting to understand they are not just content creators, but brands themselves, and as a result are building multimodal businesses that go beyond simply music and content,” said Rob Hadick, General Partner at Dragonfly.
“Medallion is building the infrastructure to enable artists to directly interact with their highest intent customers through new and exclusive products and experiences, while simultaneously owning the customer relationship themselves and driving net new revenue opportunities around their IP. We believe this paradigm shift will permeate across the entirety of the creator economy.”
“Artists owning direct access to their fans is critical, but they also need more ways to deliver value for it to drive impact.”
Matt Jones, Medallion
Lightspeed Faction’s Will Leas added: “Artists only have direct relationships with a fraction of their fanbase. Medallion solves this problem by unlocking direct artist-to-fan connection. The team has a history of building pioneering technology for the world’s biggest artists, and we are thrilled to back them on this journey.”
Medallion’s most recent product release is Digital Deluxe, a chart-eligible format available in the UK, Germany and Australia that enables artists to create “immersive digital albums.”
The company credits the success of Jungle’s most recent album, Volcano, in part to the group’s use of Digital Deluxe to offer a digitally signed album cover, audio downloads and exclusive access to a feature-length album film.Music Business Worldwide