Stockholm-based music licensing platform Freshsound has raised a €1.3 ($1.33) million pre-seed round.
The company says the backing has come from a group of investors including Shiv Prakash (former VP of Investment, Hipgnosis Song Fund), Aligned Ventures, Kristina Tunkrans (former Partner är Cederquist, CEO of PRMD publishing/AtNight and Chief of Music, Epidemic Sound), Marcus Konstantino (Partner, HDR Partners), Gustav Nordlindh (Founder and CEO at Royal Streaming), Kim Fai Kok and Dara Gill (Framtid).
Freshsound was founded in 2021 by Stephen Gyasi and Sara Larsson.
Freshsound claims to have created an automated pre-cleared licensing platform and a marketplace for original music that removes, which “all the friction of negotiating”.
The platform has a music discovery feature and a so-called “dynamic pricing model” that it says, “instantly gives clients a quote for any type of use”.
Freshsound says that it has already signed agreements with over 60 labels and publishers “and is continuously adding more songs”.
The startup adds that ad agencies like McCann and Forsman Bodenfors have already used the platform for their campaigns.
Freshsound notes that its new funding will facilitate the company’s plans to “accelerate its commercial expansion, expand its catalog, product development and R&D, and launch its licensing platform in the Nordics, Germany and UK”.
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.
“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.”
Stephen Gyasi, Freshsound
Stephen Gyasi, CEO & co-founder of Freshsound, said: “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.
“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.”
Helen McLaughlin added: “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.
Added McLaughlin: “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.”Music Business Worldwide