UK startup Kobalt Music lands $14m from Bill Marris’ Section 32

Willard Office copy (1)

Kobalt, a MusicTech startup, has topped up its Series D with an additional $14m (£10.6m) from Bill Marris’ investment firm Section 32.

Marris, who founded Google Ventures, will also be joining the company’s board of directors.

Founded in London in 2000, but now headquartered in New York, Kobalt has raised $89m (£68m) in capital to date. It first announced its $75m Series D led by Hearst Entertainment in May.

The startup has created a tech platform to help artists, songwriters, publishers and labels collect royalties for the billions of micro-payments made per song.

Willard Ahdritz, founder and CEO of Kobalt, said: “Bill is one of the most important investors and leaders in the tech community. Having him join our board is not only a great moment for Kobalt but also for the music industry that needs more tech experience. He’s been with us since 2014 and is now doubling down to help us see through our mission of bringing the music industry into the digital age.

“And there is no better time than now, as we have just finished building the first and only music stack in the industry, which includes music publishing, neighboring rights, recordings and the first digital global collection society, AMRA. It’s a true global multi-rights music infrastructure so artists and creators can get paid faster and in more places, across the globe. I have not been more excited about the music industry and Kobalt’s mission, than today.”

Marris added: “The royalty collection business has been stuck in the dark ages, and artists often have to wait for months or years to get paid for use of their work – if they get paid at all.

“Kobalt is the only company to have created a full multi-rights content management system to fix this broken business model, and I couldn’t be happier to join the board and invest again in Willard and the team at Kobalt.”

Existing investors in Kobalt include Balderton Capital, MSD Capital, Google Ventures and Michael Dell, the founder of the eponymous multinational computer technology company.

Check out UKTN’s UK tech investment tracker for the latest industry deals.