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Japanese music firm Avex joins Techstars Music accelerator’s partners


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Music/tech accelerator Techstars Music is set to return for a third year, armed with a new partner in Japanese music company Avex, and a deeper partnership with major label Sony Music.

An announcement by Techstars Music chief Bob Moczydlowsky revealed the news, as he kicked off the hunt for 10 more startups to join the accelerator’s next cohort in 2019.

“Avex Inc. manages superstar artists, produces major festivals, operates music and video streaming services and owns and distributes music globally through its family of affiliated labels. It’s one of the most influential music companies on the planet, an innovative force in Japan, and an emerging investor in global startups,” wrote Moczydlowsky.

“We’re also happy to share we’ve expanded our relationship with Sony. Since the inception of the program, we’ve worked with multiple companies in the Sony portfolio, but now it’s official: Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Sony Innovation Fund and Sony Music Entertainment USA are now all active members of our day-to-day team.”

Sony and Avex join Warner Music Group, Q Prime Management, Bill Silva Entertainment, Silva Artist Management, Concord Music, Royalty Exchange and RecoChoku as ‘members’ of Techstars Music, for a 2019 program that will see the accelerator invest $120k in each of the 10 participating startups. Sonos and Harmonix have dropped out as members since the last program.

Techstars Music counts Amper Music, Hurdl, Jaak, Pacemaker, Pippa, Popgun, Robin, Shimmur, Superpowered, SyncSpot, and Weav (in 2017) and Mighty, Blink Identity, Endel, Edison.ai, SecondBrain, Spark.dj, Hello Tickets, Seated, Gimme Radio and Soundcharts (in 2018) among its alumni.

Moczydlowsky claimed that the 2017 cohort now has a combined valuation of $91.6m, having raised $19.3m since the program (and another $10.5m before it). Meanwhile, the 2018 cohort have raised $6.8m since the program (and $6.2m before it) while reaching a combined valuation of $56m so far.

Techstars Music’s team is visiting Singapore, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta, London, Paris, Berlin, New York and Toronto between now and 8 November to scope out likely startups for the 2019 program, although the deadline for public applications is 14 October.

Stuart Dredge

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