BandLab Technologies, one of the foremost developers of do-it-yourself music creation platforms, has raised $25 million in Series B1 financing at a valuation of $425 million, the company announced on Tuesday (May 23).
The round was led by existing investor Cercano Management – formerly Vulcan Capital, the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. The venture capital arm of the holding company – was carried out with the participation of Prosus Ventures, a huge technology investor with a portfolio that includes e-. Commerce, Distribution, Fintech and Education platform.
The company said in a press release that the new funding will allow BandLab to grow its work force, offer more emerging maker campaigns, boost its support services – such as BandLab for Education. Last year, the company raised $65 million in a Series B round that valued BandLab at $315 million — $110 million less than the latest valuation — and was led by Vulcan Capital, with participation from Caldecott Music Group and K3 Ventures.
BandLabs Technologies is best known for its namesake platform BandLab, a mobile-first digital audio workstation with over 60 million registered users. The company also owns long-running digital audio workstation Cakewalk, which it acquired in 2018; ReverbNation, a 16-year-old independent artist services provider acquired in 2021; and Airbit, a Beats marketplace it acquired in February.
It competes in a growing range of cloud-based music creation tools that offer a far more simplified user experience than typical studio platforms like ProTools. Like BandLab, Soundtrap, which was acquired by Spotify in 2017, makes creating songs an easy and collaborative process. RapChat’s feature-rich mobile app has over 10 million music creators on board.
“BandLab plays a vital role in today’s music creation ecosystem, enabling more artists to grow at previously unfathomable levels,” meng roo kuokthe CEO and co-founder of BandLab said in a statement to Billboard. This additional investment enhances our position in today’s environment to accelerate our vision and deepen meaningful collaborations, bridging the gap between emerging talent and established industry players. We are all set to double down on our mission by empowering artists at large.”
In the past two decades, independent musicians have been given digital tools that markedly lower the barriers to entry. Digital audio workstations such as Apple’s GarageBand provided the ability for anyone with an Apple computer to easily record and edit audio files. Digital distribution services such as TuneCore allowed anyone to sell their music online. Now, music-making tools have been simplified to mobile phone apps and artificial intelligence-powered products — like BandLab’s SongStarter — give the average Internet user the ability to make music.
Occasionally, BandLab users have had legitimate chart success using the app’s entry-level toolkit. Last year, “Romantic Homicide” was created on BandLab by the 17-year-old Houston artist. d4vd, peaked at No. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100, when another single, “Here With Me”, got them signed to Darkroom/Interscope Records. Also last year, BandLab partnered with Billboard to launch the Bringing BandLab to Billboard portal to help its creators get exposed to a global audience. As a result two artists were featured on Billboard.com: The Moon City Masters and Hitha.