Napster co-founder Sean Parker is amongst super angel investors in a $5 million funding round for music GIF app developer Emoticast.
The London-based firm is behind the TuneMoji apps and bots that allow mobile users to share music GIFs with sound from artists across the world’s biggest messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
It has created campaigns with Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran, and secured licenses from Universal Music and Warner Music, plus major publishers including Sony/ATV, Warner Chappell, Universal Publishing Group, Sony BMG and PRS/Impel.
The company will use the investment to continue to grow its partners in music and other entertainment fields, increase original content collaborations with artists, and expand its messaging partner network.
Parker has invested through Strangeloop Ventures, and other investors include producer and Black Eyed Peas co-founder will.i.am, DJ and producer David Guetta and former Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz.
Jason Epstein, board member for Rhapsody and Napster’s parent company Rhapsody International, Nicole Junkermann through Montilla International Corporation and Copper Studios CEO Alan Cannistraro also took part in the round.
”Emoticast is primed to become the micro-YouTube for messaging built on a foundation of premium licensed content.”
james fabricant, emoticast
Emoticast was founded by serial entrepreneur James Fabricant, former head of MySpace Europe, who said the investment primes his company to “become the micro-YouTube for messaging built on a foundation of premium licensed content.”
He continued: “We’re delighted to welcome such rock star investors to Emoticast.
“The backing of such high-profile individuals from the worlds of music, technology and entertainment is validation of the company’s success in catalyzing partnerships across the entertainment and messaging industries.”
“By partnering with Emoticast, we enable our music to enrich billions of daily messaging interactions and we create new avenues for value creation and unique marketing for our artists and songwriters.”
Ole Olbermann, Chief Digital Officer and Executive VP for Warner Music Group, said: “At Warner Music, we are excited about new, innovative opportunities to integrate music into social and messaging platforms and to adapt our content to evolving consumer behavior.
“By partnering with Emoticast we enable our music to enrich billions of daily messaging interactions and we create new avenues for value creation and unique marketing for our artists and songwriters.”
Among the first of Emoticast’s new partnerships is an exclusive collaboration with Kik in April featuring Snoop Dogg, where the artist will take over TuneMoji’s bot and empower users to express themselves by sharing custom Snoop music GIFs.
It is also widening its focus on entertainment messaging content beyond music GIFs to film and television.
Music Business Worldwide