Authentic Artists emerged in April 2021 as a startup creating a roster of virtual (avatar) artists to release music – complete with funding from media exec James Murdoch, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Roblox’s chief business officer. Now the company has raised some more funding, and this time Warner Music Group is among the backers.
Shinoda and Murdoch are re-upping their stakes, with management firm Crush Music’s VC arm and The Sandbox co-founder Sebastien Borget also chipping in. This money is to help Authentic Artists continue building its ‘WarpSound’ roster of virtual artists, while expanding into NFTs and other kinds of music experiences.
WMG’s involvement is most interesting: the latest in a long line of stakes taken in NFT/metaverse/blockchain startups of various hues. A major label investing in a virtual artists startup might have been controversial once upon a time. Now it’s just part of their wider exploration of web3 technologies.