Duetti, a new music financing startup led by former Tidal COO Lior Tibon and former Apple Music business development executive Christopher Nolte, has closed a $32 million funding round to launch its new service, the company announced Wednesday (May 3). The round includes money from Viola Ventures/Viola Credit, Roc Nation, Untitled and Presight Capital.
The company is aiming to get in on the catalog sales market by providing funding to rising or independent artists in exchange for full catalogs, individual tracks or parts of tracks — then optimizing and growing their returns through marketing and/or social platform promotion. Duetti likens the deals it’s making as akin to the big catalog sales that major artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and others have executed in recent years, but for smaller artists — or at least those who have had songs on streaming platforms for two years and racked up at least 500,000 streams within the past 12 months.
“In recent years, the trend of legacy A-list musicians selling their entire catalogs has left independent artists out of the equation,” said Tibon, who serves as Duetti’s CEO, in a statement. “Now, artists at all stages of their careers can easily capture the potential of their tracks and catalogs to help them reach the next step of their journey. We are arming artists with the information they need to choose when, and how, to leverage their assets from a position of strength.”
Duetti has been in stealth mode, and during that period it says it has partnered with over 60 artists — including Sylvan LaCue, CVBZ and Croosh — across 100 tracks, with acquisitions totaling as much as $400,000; Duetti’s deals take roughly 30 days to complete on average, according to the company. It now sees an opportunity to open up this funding model to more than 70,000 additional independent artists. The company plans to use the seed funding to expand its staff, onboard more artists and boost the value of the tracks already in its catalog. It’s tapping into a market that includes companies like Sound Royalties, which recently sold to GoDigital, that aim to help artists finance their lives and careers by selling royalty streams and other assets and seeing higher returns in the long run.
“Duetti’s cutting edge technology enables efficient analysis of an artist’s potential for successfully monetizing a catalog or track — we are incredibly excited by the potential of their business model and the new, independent investment class it unlocks,” said Avi Zeevi, fintech investor and co-founder of Viola Ventures, in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Independent artist revenue growth is outpacing the entire industry and their highly scalable model returns revenue uncorrelated to broader market and economic conditions. A win-win for investors and musicians.”