Music industry mega-manager Scooter Braun has joined a substantial investment round in a startup specializing in virtual concerts.
L.A-based Wave allows fans to watch their favourite artists performing as digital avatars.
Joining Braun in a $30m funding round are the likes of ex-New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez, in addition to Superfly co-founder Rick Farman, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.
Wave says it will use some of the money to expand into Japan and China, in addition to “elevating Wave’s creation of personalized artist avatars, new virtual environments and formats, and interactive experiences”.
The funding round also included contributions from Avex, Superfly Ventures, Convivialite Ventures, NTT DOCOMO Ventures and Raised in Space.
The latter company was co-founded by Braun alongside ex-BMG exec Zach Katz in order to seek out and invest in startups with the potential to change the face of the music business.
“I want to work with today’s most forward-thinking leaders in music and technology. The future of the industry depends on it.”
Scooter Braun, SB Projects
To date, Wave has raised $40m, with its existing investors including RRE Ventures and Upfront Ventures. It recently held a series of virtual shows, entitled ‘One Wave’, featuring John Legend and Tinashe.
“I want to work with today’s most forward-thinking leaders in music and technology. The future of the industry depends on it,” said Braun, who manages the likes of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber.
“Adam and his team at Wave are bridging these two very important industries to create transformative experiences for the next generation of concert-goers, with a refreshingly artist-first approach.”
Wave co-founder and CEO Adam Arrigo said: “It’s a privilege to be supported by such distinguished investors like Maveron and Griffin Gaming Partners, who have funded breakout consumer businesses.
“The added support from several new strategic partners shows the entertainment industry is looking for new, interactive ways to connect with today’s digital generation.”
The music industry’s interest in avatar-based virtual concerts has exploded since DJ/Producer Marshmello played an in-game set to more than 10m fans in Epic Games’ Fortnite last year.
In April, Travis Scott reached nearly 28m players via a pre-recorded show in Fortnite.Music Business Worldwide