Matt Pincus’ MUSIC raises $200m, as it eyes record label, publishing, tech and Web3 investments

Matt Pincus

New York-based Matt Pincus is a highly respected entrepreneur in the music business: after all, he founded SONGS Music Publishing, which not only signed The Weeknd, Diplo, and Lorde – but ended up selling to Kobalt Capital for around $160 million in 2017.

After exiting SONGS, Pincus quietly launched an investment house focused on the music business, in partnership with Liontree.

Since 2019, that venture – MUSIC – has made investments in firms such as music-making platform Splice, music financial services company HIFI, the ticketing platform DICE, and others. (Pincus is currently a member of the board of directors of Splice and HIFI.)

Today (May 26), Pincus has announced he’s taking MUSIC to the next level.

Calling itself “the first ever diversified investment company focused exclusively on music businesses”, MUSIC has raised $200 million in “initial” capital as it officially re-launches as a partnership between Pincus and Liontree, plus two new investors – JS Capital Management and Schusterman Family Investments.

The company says it will “focus on taking long-term positions in a variety of music enterprises”.

Based in New York, MUSIC says it will look to take long-term positions in companies operating across three areas of the music business: (i) the technology sector; (ii) record labels and music publishers; and (iii) companies “dedicated to Web3 innovation”.

As the company’s co-founder and CEO, Pincus will handle capital allocation, investments, and operations on behalf of MUSIC, as well as oversee governance of ongoing investments.

“To make the right investments in music, you need to bet on talent with flexible capital, ready for the long term.”

Matt Pincus

“Institutional investors have been flocking to music because of the uncorrelated returns and strong growth the industry provides. But for most investors, music is just another asset that fits in their portfolio,” says Pincus.

“At MUSIC, we invest in talent, creativity, repertoire and innovation. Good people reside all across the capital stack – from venture to growth to private equity to yield. To make the right investments in music, you need to bet on talent with flexible capital, ready for the long term.”

Aryeh B. Bourkoff, founder and CEO of LionTree, co-founder of MUSIC, said: “We launched MUSIC to invest in the evolution of the music industry and be a strategic partner for artists and entrepreneurs in the space.

“Matt’s independence, track record, and the relationships he’s built across the ecosystem give him a unique perspective on where music is headed, and we are excited to partner with JS Capital and Schusterman on this thematic.

“LionTree is increasingly focused on bringing long-term capital together with people and ideas to move industries forward, and we believe music is a particularly dynamic industry with multiple avenues for growth and transformation over time and through market cycles.”

Salil Seshadri, Chief Investment Officer of JS Capital Management, said: “JS Capital is focused on partnering with great management teams that are providing solutions in large and, often, fragmented markets.

“In the case of MUSIC, the partnership with Matt and Aryeh allows us to be part of changing trends in content creation, technology, and the continued shift towards experiences over things.

“Matt is a proven operator and LionTree is best-in-class when it comes to offering creative advice and solutions to businesses across technology, media, and entertainment—the key vectors across which MUSIC will operate.”

The catalog of SONGS Music Publishing formed part of a collection of copyrights sold last year by Kobalt Capital to a venture led by KKR, Chord Music, for $1.1 billion.Music Business Worldwide