The arrival of artificial intelligence in the music industry has birthed a number of collaboration platforms, each aiming to redefine the creative process.
Baton, which describes itself as a music collaboration platform for unreleased creative material, is one of these market entrants. Founded in New York City in 2021, the startup aims to build a “next-generation ecosystem for unreleased material.”
Its platform will use AI and decentralized payment infrastructure to support collaboration among creators.
The company announced on Tuesday (November 14) that it has closed a USD $4.2 million funding round led by BITKRAFT Ventures, a global early- and mid-stage investment platform specializing in gaming, esports, and interactive media. With over $540 million in assets under management, BITKRAFT is also an investor in music for gaming startup Five Vectors and Splash, the Australia-based, AI-powered developer behind Roblox.
Baton’s fundraising also saw participation from Techstars, Dorm Room Fund, NYU’s Innovation Venture Fund, the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship, Dark Arts, Franklin Templeton, Harmonic Future, and industry angels.
Baton says it is banking on an abundance of unfinished or unreleased material that holds potential.
“There are 100,000 songs released to streaming services every day, but most material is unreleased. We believe there’s tremendous untapped potential here.”
Gabe Warshaw, Baton
“There are 100,000 songs released to streaming services every day, but most material is unreleased. We believe there’s tremendous untapped potential here,” said Baton Founder & CEO Gabe Warshaw.
The platform also seeks to address musicians’ challenges in receiving proper credit, with only a small fraction managing to support themselves solely from their work.
“As a lifelong musician, I’ve seen how challenging it can be for even the most talented creatives to support themselves from their work,” Warshaw said.
“Baton was founded to create a home for these ideas that inspires creativity, while streamlining logistical aspects of the business, so artists can focus on what matters most: the art.”
Baton says it’s not just a collaboration tool, but also an ecosystem designed to connect unreleased material with the right audience. The platform is also building a decentralized infrastructure to protect intellectual property (IP) and ensure fair compensation, regardless of how or where material is used.
“Baton makes creating easier. It’s one of the few instances in music and tech where both the vision and execution just hit it on the head.”
The company says it is bridging the gap between emerging artists and industry titans. Since launching its private beta in 2022, Baton has facilitated collaborations with Grammy winners, A&Rs and managers.
Said Sickamore: “It’s one of the few instances in music and tech where both the vision and execution just hit it on the head. This is the solution aspiring producers, established artists, and everyone in between has been waiting for.”
Grammy-winning producer DJ Dahi, who has worked with Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Drake, and more, added: “I’m always looking for inspiration. It can come from anywhere. Baton is an awesome place to find up-and-coming talent that I would have never otherwise crossed paths with.”
Malte Barth, Founding General Partner at BITKRAFT Ventures, said: “The music industry is experiencing some of the most exciting growth we’ve seen in recent memory. Yet, while the sector is on track to reach $73.39 billion in market size by 2026, collaboration infrastructure that supports creators is antiquated and does little to help them participate in the value they create for society.”
“while the [music] sector is on track to reach $73.39 billion in market size by 2026, collaboration infrastructure that supports creators is antiquated.”
Malte Barth, BITKRAFT Ventures
“The Baton team is uniquely positioned to realize a beautiful vision for a better creative world. Their backgrounds as creative technologists from NYU ITP, a prestigious master’s program within [the] Tisch School of the Arts, as well as experience working at the top of the music industry, gives them a rare combination of technical skills and real-world understanding to affect substantial change in an area that desperately needs it.”
Baton is an alumni of startup accelerator Techstars Music. It’s also a former winner of the NYU Entrepreneurs Challenge and the Tandon Future Labs InnoVention Competition.
Music Business Worldwide