Latest round of funding for the Black-owned music marketing platform will support the growth of its marketplace for creators, labels, brands, and more
ATLANTA, July 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Breakr, a fast growing music marketing platform announced today that it has raised $4.2 million in seed funding to meet the rapidly growing demand for creator monetization tools and digital music promotion solutions. The round was led by Slow Ventures.
“Independent artists have more opportunities than ever to break through, but those opportunities have required busywork that should’ve been solved already,” said Tony Brown.
The raise comes on the heels of explosive growth for the startup. Founded in late 2020, Breakr’s platform has leveraged over 50,000 creators across 133 countries with an aggregate reach of more than 1bn followers. Most importantly, Breakr has already generated 150m views for emerging artists and put hundreds of thousands of dollars into the pockets of creators at a time where it’s needed more than ever.
“Independent artists have more opportunities than ever to break through, but those opportunities have required busywork that should’ve been solved already,” said Tony Brown, Breakr’s co-founder and CEO. “Problem 1? Spending all day messaging to try and get your song heard. TikTok influencers have been pushing songs to the top of the charts, and with the shift to Twitch and Instagram Live DJ sets during the pandemic, we knew the world needed a solution.”
With this funding, Breakr will staff out its product, engineering, and business development teams to set itself up for its increasing demand. “Creators are increasingly at the forefront of brand and content discovery for consumers. Building tools to help creators manage and monetize is one of the most exciting opportunities in media today. Breakr is in a great position to build tools and services that not only add value to creators’ lives, but also anyone looking for distribution. We jumped at the chance to lead the round and are very excited about the role Breakr can play in the music industry and beyond,” said Will Quist, Slow Ventures.
“When we designed Breakr, we focused on first addressing one of the biggest pain points for artists, influencers, and anyone trying to promote a song: outreach and execution for social placements,” said Ameer Brown, Breakr co-founder and CTO/Inventor.
“Discovery was broken, payments were unsecured at best and scammy at worst, and there was no transparency in communication or validation of the promotion taking place. This process needed to be streamlined, so we stepped in to make it happen. And by diving into the issue, we’ve identified so many additional opportunities to unlock value for the creative industries, by creatively removing friction.”
Breakr’s alpha product allows artists and influencers to facilitate paid and unpaid collaborations with powerful search and discovery, seamless payments, and escrow-based verification. The result offers both parties more control, confidence, and free time to do what they do best.
Breakr was in the alpha cohort of Andreessen Horowitz’s Talent x Opportunity Initiative led by a16z partner Nait Jones. The Initiative is an accelerator program that provides funding, mentorship, resources, and community to underrepresented founders. Breakr was one of the seven companies accepted out of more than 1,200 applicants.
Breakr founders Ameer Brown, Dan Ware,and Rotimi Omosheyin met while students at Florida A&M University, where they promoted sold-out parties and saw first-hand the power of one-to-one communication and word-of-mouth marketing.
“I immediately knew it would be the future. Having cultural icons like Erykah Badu and Dave Chapelle rock with my music and amplify me on their platforms was major for me. Now, with Breakr, we can make this happen for artists and influencers at every level,” said Tobe Nwigwe, independent artist and Breakr co-founder.
The round was supported by a broad set of investors and operators from the creative industries and beyond, including: Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, Nas, RGA Ventures/Coalition, Baron Davis, Quiet Capital, Precursor Ventures, WNDRCO, Plexo Capital, Debut Capital, Unknown Ventures, Ozone Partners, CNC Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners (Scout Fund), Kevin Mayer, Rich Riley, Tommy Duncan, Rich Antoniello, Nataly Langer, Dan Teran, Justin Waldron, Scott Depetris, Alex Lopez, Sterling Proffer, Mack Hollins, Matt Goetz, and re-commitments from several of the company’s existing loyal angel and pre-seed investors.
“Breakr is a needed tool to efficiently connect artists, influencers and brands. I know from 1st hand experience that this process manually is too time consuming to not only find an array of diverse influencers but activate them as well. They’ve created what I call a mall of influential marketers, where all you have to do is shop what talent fits the taste of your campaign needs,” said Marc Byers, former GM of Motown Records and Strategic Advisor at AMP Technologies.
“Songs don’t break on AM/FM radio anymore – they break on social media. Breakr is making it insanely easy to do what any influencer wants to do: find songs they love from artists they love, make some great entertainment, and blow each other up in the process.” Josh Richards, social media influencer and Breakr advisor.
“We are so proud to have been on this journey with the Breakr team. They had a vision when we started down this road with them last year, and we just feel lucky to be able to be a small part of their success.” – Griffin Johnson, social media influencer and Breakr advisor.
“This new financing round is the result of three things: hard work, vision and more hard work. The Breakr team is just getting started and I’m glad that the market is quickly validating the thesis: The relationships that have fundamentally made up the music flywheel to-date are broken. Breakr will be the first major solution and they (we) are just getting started!” – Marshall Sandman, GP, Animal Capital, Breakr advisor.