Los Angeles-based Verswire, an artist development incubator that aims to act as a “venture capital-like” music fund, has raised $12.3 million in seed and series A investment.
The round was led by E.O.A. Productions and idobi Radio, with participating investors including Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman and Foo Fighters Tour Manager Gus Brandt.
Verswire was founded last year by blink-182’s Mark Hoppus (Partner of A&R), veteran music manager Nick Lippman (Partner) and Veeps co-founder & COO Sherry Saeedi (CEO and Founder), while Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz serves as a strategic advisor.
In addition to the funding news, the company has also announced a new publishing arm, set to launch in 2024 in partnership with Kobalt Music Group.
The publishing arm and funding round, in tandem, will “usher in the next phase of Verswire, as we continue growing our roster of artists and bolster the services and individual investments we dedicate to them,” according to Saeedi.
This next phase is highlighted by the signing of Girlfriends – the alt-rock duo comprised of Travis Mills and Nick Gross – who have joined the Verswire record label roster today, marking the company’s second artist signing.
“We’re ecstatic to celebrate our second year as a company with the signing of Girlfriends, and cannot wait to do incredible things together in 2024 and beyond,” said Saeedi.
The announcement arrives on the heels of what Verswire says is the breakout success story of Beauty School Dropout, the company’s debut record label signee.
Meanwhile, their live shows have evolved from “playing in a thrift store for 200 people” to playing arenas with Blink182, major festivals like Lollapalooza and Reading and Leads, supporting the likes of jxdn and Maggie Lindemann and selling out their own national headlining tour.
“[Today’s news] usher[s] in the next phase of Verswire, as we continue growing our roster of artists and bolster the services and individual investments we dedicate to them.”
Verwsire says that it “adopts the shark tank ideology” by acting as a venture capital fund that views artists as entrepreneurs.
The company adds that it offers artists investment that includes funding, resources, tools, mentoring, support from prominent music executives “and an ecosystem to own and operate their businesses within while allowing them to keep majority ownership of their masters”.Music Business Worldwide