Metaverse experiences startup MELON raises $5m from backers including Crush Music’s investment arm

MELON co-founder and co-CEO Josh Neuman

Metaverse startup MELON announced the $5 million seed round today. 

MELON’s seed funding comes from backers including Crush Ventures, Gaingels, Comcast Spectacor, and an SPV led by Matt Finick, formerly CFO at Roblox and Marvel Entertainment. 

Notably, Crush Ventures, the investment arm of Crush Music, has a management roster spanning the likes of Miley Cyrus, Sia, Green Day, Panic! at the Disco, and Weezer, among others. 

Angel investors in MELON’s seed round include: healthcare investor Paul Yook; Deborah Dugan, CEO of Beyond Type 1 and formerly CEO of Product (RED) and The Recording Academy of Music; Spencer Baim, CBO at Kinship and former CCO of VICE Media; Jason Ve, Head of BD/Brand Partnerships at 88rising; and Gene Salomon, partner at the law firm Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman.

Upon announcing their seed funding round, MELON co-founder and co-CEO Josh Neuman said: “We’re extremely fortunate to have such a strong collective of early strategic investors in MELON.

“The Metaverse and platforms within it are ripe for disruption and we’re looking forward to evolving our creativity and storytelling in collaboration with our partners, as well as via our original IP.”

Neuman’s previous experience in media, branding, and technology has helped establish MELON’s reputation in throwing virtual events on platforms like Roblox. He has co-founded and/or served in executive positions at 88rising, Recreation Worldwide, Control Management, and Crush Music. 

Neuman’s partner at MELON, Devon Thorne, is focused on the game development side of the business. He first made a name for himself by creating Minecraft experiences before directing his attention to Roblox, which is where most of MELON’s experiences are based. 

Coupling the co-CEO’s unique skills, MELON is well-positioned to create metaverse experiences with their corporate partners such as the NFL and Chipotle, as well as with music artists. 

Matt Finick, who is running the SPV aligned with MELON, stated that the company is “perfectly positioned to build some of the most impactful experiences across music, film and TV, fashion, and sports” in the metaverse. 

Tucker Roberts, President of Comcast Spectacor Gaming, added: “At Comcast Spectacor, we’re always looking for new ways to engage fans with great events and memorable experiences, and that’s what this investment is all about. 

“MELON is on the cutting edge of bringing experiences directly to where Gen Z lives – their phones – and we’re looking forward to the continued innovations that Josh and his incredible team will make at MELON.”

MELON was founded in 2017 as a development studio for the metaverse.

The company creates original games and IP relating to sports, music, film and television, fashion, and lifestyle brands. MELON also creates metaverse experiences for corporate partners.

In totality, their products have attracted hundreds of millions of visits by unique users in the metaverse. Music Business Worldwide