Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs just joined a $12m funding round for hologram startup, Proto

Hologram performances of superstar artists have become a thriving business, with hologram versions of legendary artists from Tupac, to Frank Zappa and Whitney Houston making on-stage appearances in recent years.

Today (April 12) we learn that a hologram startup called Proto Inc., formerly known PORTL, has raised $12 million in a Series A round led by TRUE Capital Management (Coinbase, Palantir).

Plus, artist and entrepreneur Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has invested in the company, and has also been named as an Advisor.

Proto claims that its “proprietary state of the art technology” is what makes so called “interactive holoportation” possible.

This process, according to Proto, allows a person to “beam” to a location in real time when they can’t be there physically.

The Los Angeles-based company says its technology is already being used across various industries including entertainment, education, retail, enterprise, business, marketing, fashion, and the art world.

Proto’s Series A round also saw participation tech investor Tim Draper (Tesla, SpaceX, Twitch), early Uber investors Jillian Manus and Mike Walsh of Structure Management.

Quavo of Migos, and dozens of retired and active pro-athletes including Marshawn Lynch, Albert Pujols, Robert Griffin III, Luke Walton and Breanna Stewart have also invested in the company.

Proto says that Combs was introduced to the startup when he used the new technology to “beam” from Miami to Los Angeles to sing Happy Birthday to his son, Christian “King” Combs, an event that sparked millions of views on social media.

Proto says that its “holoportation” tech has been used by the CEOs of IWC Schaffhausen and Formula E racing as well as by brands such as AT&T, T-Mobile, DHL, Diageo, Christie’s, Chase Bank, Kia, and at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Notable people who have recently used Proto include Ellen Degeneres, Lewis Hamilton, Usain Bolt, Tombogo (in Proto’s New York Fashion Week debut) and Iris Apfel for the launch of her line with H&M.

Christie’s also uses Proto for its NFT auctions, amfAR featured it at its Cannes Gala honoring Spike Lee, and NBA champ Danny Green used it to launch his ring NFT.

Proto claims that it is the “ideal showcase” for NFTs having started in the field with the first NFT designed for a Proto made by Nicole Buffett (later purchased at auction by Snoop Dogg).

Additionally Proto was used in major events at NYC.NFT, at Miami Crypto Experience, and dominated the NFT space Art Basel with activations involving ArtRepublic, SuperRare, Red DAO, DeadMau5, and Micah Johnson’s Aku World.

“Sean Combs has always been an inspiring pioneer in music and business—constantly changing the game with whatever he does.”

David Nussbaum, Proto Inc

David Nussbaum, CEO and Founder of Proto Inc, said: “Sean Combs has always been an inspiring pioneer in music and business—constantly changing the game with whatever he does,”

“We were honored to bring his family together last Spring, and it became the perfect example of how Proto connects people for meaningful, emotional interactions unlike any other technology.

“We’re so excited to be working with him as we continue to make the future a reality now.”

 Music Business Worldwide