Paris-based immersive music experience startup Stage11 has raised €5 million (approx $5.8m ) in a seed round led by Otium Capital, a European venture capital fund, backed up by Stage11 founder and CEO, Jonathan Belolo.
Belolo is the co-owner of France-based Scorpio Music, which has 45 years of history in the music industry.
Stage11 has also agreed key partnerships with artists including Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Snoop Dogg, Ne-Yo, Akon, French viral street dance artist Salif Gueye and a key strategic fashion partnership with the Institut Français de la Mode.
Belolo is joined by co-founders Jean-Philippe Braud and Gregory Dhonner, the co-founder and Director of business development for Profirst, a luxury event agency for brands in fashion, beauty, and art (Armani, Chanel, Kering, L’Oréal, LVMH).
Also joining as co-founder is Mani Nordine, the President of American Artists Company, specializing in managing A-list artists and celebrities bookings (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Nas & Lady Gaga).
Meanwhile, Stage11 says that it has “begun its journey to reimagine music for the metaverse” by using the funds to onboard strategic hires, sign key artist and brand partnerships and build its technology platform.
Amongst those new hires are executives who have previously worked for the likes of Assassin’s Creed, Facebook Oculus, Ferrari, Happy Feet, LVMH, Marvel Avengers, Microsoft Kinect, Nike, and Virgin.
Founded in 2020, with offices in both Paris and Los Angeles, Stage11 aims to tap into several of today’s fastest-growing markets including gaming, AR/VR, virtual events, and digital goods.
The company claims that it’s “setting out to redefine the interactive music experience” by combining gaming, mixed reality, and digital collectibles.
Stage11 says that it will achieve this by “building a new creative canvas for artists, allowing them to invite fans to live, play, and create inside their performances and musical worlds”.
Added Stage 11: “These worlds combine immersive gameplay sequences, life-like performances, cinematic narratives and exclusive digital collectibles.
“Fans can not only discover and collect but actually use these interactive NFTs to create and share unique personalized content and even perform with their favorite artists.
Stage11 can be accessed on desktop and mobile and the company’s first music experience is set to debut in 2022.
“Building immersive music events and experiences is just the first step. We are on a journey together to reimagine the way artists and brands connect, even co-create, with their fans and audiences.”
Jonathan Belolo, Stage11
Jonathan Belolo, founder and CEO, said: “As a gamer and sci-fi nerd, It feels like I’ve been dreaming about the metaverse my entire life.
“Now that as a society we’re on the cusp of making it real, I find myself blessed to be part of an incredible team setting out to explore the new frontier.
“Building immersive music events and experiences is just the first step. We are on a journey together to reimagine the way artists and brands connect, even co-create, with their fans and audiences.
“We are combining genres, realities and cultures to build something bold, thrilling and timeless — yet accessible and fun.”
“At Otium Capital, we are entrepreneurs before we are investors. As entertainment, digital and gaming are part of our expertise, Stage 11 is an obvious choice for us.”
Pierre-Edouard Stérin, Otium Capital
Pierre-Edouard Stérin, founder of Otium Capital, said: “At Otium Capital, we are entrepreneurs before we are investors. As entertainment, digital and gaming are part of our expertise, Stage 11 is an obvious choice for us.
“The founders of Stage 11 are recognized experts in their respective fields (Music, Fashion, Luxury, Lifestyle).
“This track record has enabled them to build a high-quality team between Europe and Silicon Valley in record time.”
“Every day, we see that technology is influencing the entire fashion value chain and is having an impact on all processes.”
Xavier Romatet, Institut Français de la Mode
Xavier Romatet, dean of the Institut Français de la Mode, said: “Every day, we see that technology is influencing the entire fashion value chain and is having an impact on all processes.
“The development of metaverses is an additional step that is opening up a new field of expression for brands.
Added Romatet: “The students of the Institut Français de la Mode, the future players in the industry, must be at the heart of this revolution.
“That’s why we have decided to make our fashion design students work in partnership with Stage 11 on virtual accessories, by using their approach of a digital metaverse, which will be presented during the fashion show at Paris Fashion Week next March.”
“I’m super excited to partner up with Stage11 and work on amazing virtual experiences together.”
Martin Garrix said: “I’m super excited to partner up with Stage11 and work on amazing virtual experiences together.
“We’re currently working on my first virtual show with Stage11 and I can’t wait to share more about this very soon!’’
Music Business Worldwide