Startup HAAWK raises $2.5m and acquires digital music aggregator Dart Music

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There is a serious new player in the world of music rights management and digital distribution.

Los Angeles-based HAAWK, a rights management, copyright enforcement, and content monetization firm, has secured a $2.5m Series Seed round of venture capital financing led by Rincon Venture Partners, Wavemaker Partners, Frontier Venture Capital, and Apex Ventures.

Meanwhile, HAAWK has announced the acquisition of a range of assets from Dart Music Inc. – the Tennessee-based classical music digital aggregator which filed for bankruptcy in February.

Jim Andelman, a Managing Director at Rincon Venture Partners, will join HAAWK’s board of directors as a result of its fund raise.

HAAWK says it will use the funds to further build out its technology to provide music, film and television rights holders with the ability to monetize, distribute and administer their content across multiple platforms.

The Dart Music assets will be used to bolster HAAWK’s distribution and technology services, which deliver assets to, and administer royalties generated by, music and media retailers including YouTube Content ID, iTunes / Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, Google Play, TIDAL, Deezer, and SoundCloud.

“HAAWK provides products and services that solve complex challenges faced by today’s media rights holders and the company’s strategy for unlocking new value for content owners is one that we both appreciate and support.”

Jim Andelman, Rincon Venture Partners

“People are at the forefront of Rincon’s investment thesis,” said Andelman. “We aim to invest in teams that have proven their ability to disrupt the status quo and navigate a startup from inception to exit.

“The company is led by an experienced management team, fresh off an exit that yielded significant returns to investors. HAAWK provides products and services that solve complex challenges faced by today’s media rights holders and the company’s strategy for unlocking new value for content owners is one that we both appreciate and support.”

“Rincon has a reputation as one of the top seed and early stage VC firms in Southern California,” said Ryan Born, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, HAAWK.

“HAAWK is excited to partner with Jim and the Rincon Venture Partners team as we execute on our mission to bring transparency to the music and media ecosystem, increase earnings for and bring new opportunities to our growing client base.”

HAAWK co-founders Ryan Born (CEO) Benjamin Barger (COO) previously founded AdRev / AudioMicro, Inc. which raised just $1.25 million in capital and grew into an Inc. 500 company for 2013, 2014 and 2015 before selling to Zealot Networks, Inc. in 2015 for an amount reported to be in excess of $20 million cash.

The third co-founder at HAAWK is and Ben Lister (CRO).Music Business Worldwide

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