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Echo Nest Nabs $7M Series B For Music Analysis Technology

October 05, 2010
VentureWire
by Tomio Geron

Echo Nest Corp. is trying to give a slew of developers a chance to compete in the challenging digital-music space with its music analysis technology.

The company has raised $7 million in Series B financing led by Matrix Partners with participation from existing investor Commonwealth Capital Ventures. Valuation was not disclosed. The company previously raised an unspecified Series A financing from Commonwealth Capital Ventures, Argos Management and other angels.

Echo Nest provides analysis of music for more than 5,000 third party developers who have created more than 90,000 applications, as well as record labels and music producers.

“With our content-level understanding and cultural understanding, we take all this really rich data and open it up to our developer API,” said Jim Lucchese, chief executive of Echo Nest.

Echo Nest can provide a variety of data about music through its algorithm-based technology that learns. For example, Echo Nest’s technology can help a developer find only upbeat songs, or a listener find artists that live within 15 miles.

This provides many new ways for people to discover new music, Lucchese said.

“We’re at the very early stages in music discovery,” Lucchese said.

One application that uses Echo Nest, Appkicker, enables friends who are in a room to all shake their phones, after which the app will create a group playlist based on the combined music preferences of all the people in the room. Another popular application using the service is ondemand music subscription service MOG Inc.

Other areas of popular development are interactivity, for example rhythm and music games, as well as music creation applications, Lucchese said.

Echo Nest’s analysis of music comes not just from analyzing the music itself but sentiment about music from constant analysis of blogs and social media, said Antonio Rodriguez, general partner at Matrix Partners who is joining Echo Nest’s board.

“To me it’s a data platform,” Rodriguez said. “The most interesting thing is collecting that vast amount of data…and extracting cultural meaning from that.”

Rodriguez said he wanted to invest in Echo Nest, his first investment for Matrix since joining about six months ago, because it makes the “picks and shovels” of the music start-up world, so he does not have to pick which of the application developers, or “gold prospectors,” will strike it rich.

Echo Nest Nabs $7M Series B For Music Analysis Technology

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