By Sahil Patel
The startup says it will use the funds to launch new programming initiatives as well as make improvements to its app platform and video network — with a continued focus on finding and growing new music talent.
At the center of StarMaker’s business is a singing/video app that allows users to cover and create music videos of their favorite songs. The company has licensing deals with all of the major music publishers, and works directly with labels such as Atlantic, Columbia, Island Def Jam, and RCA. This gives users access to almost every chart-topper out right now, and the ability to legally share the cover videos they create without fear of it being flagged or taken down.
StarMaker has used this app platform, which it says has more than 30 million users, to launch two other businesses. The most prominent is via the partnerships the company has with music-competition TV series “American Idol” and “The Voice,” where the StarMaker app is used by both shows for early-stage auditioning rounds.
Last fall, as StarMaker elevated its efforts around discovering and growing new talent on social video platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Vine, and Instagram, the company also launched a music talent network. The main pitch was/is pretty enticing: music creators who sign with the network get access to a whole bunch of music that they can then use to make cover videos, build an audience off of those videos, and make money off of that viewership.
Other investors in StarMaker’s Series B include firms Crosscut Ventures, Three Bridge Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, iGlobe Partners, and Gree International, as well as individual investors Allen DeBevoise of Machinima* and Joe Perez of Tastemade.
* Allen DeBevoise is an investor in VideoInk.