I’m going to try briefly blogging about each new tech startup investment I make. It’ll be a helpful record of what I was thinking about the startup, founders, product/customer fit, etc when I originally made the investment. It might also help startup founders who want to do some background research on what makes me tick.
Muru Music is one of the fastest investments I’ve ever made — first time I’ve agreed to join the seed round at the end of my questions following the pitch.
This was because the pitch was delivered by a high-quality founder who was able to demonstrate he deeply understands his customer and the problem he’s solving, he was raising a modest amount at a sensible valuation, he was able to demonstrate an impressive prototype, has the right team, and is only a few steps from some promising revenue.
He was smart enough to spot that I have a personal interest in music (I started a music label) and have always been interested in the power of algorithms to make mobile apps deeply personal and automatically useful.
Nicc Johnson is the Chief Musicologist and Founder of Muru Music, which creates a playlist the way a professional DJ creates a playlist — moving smoothly between one or more moods/vibes/genres over a period of time.
Nicc knows a thing or two about playlists, having been a well-known house DJ in one of Ibiza’s biggest clubs. (Disclosure: I have never been to Ibiza, much less gained entrance to Pacha Ibiza.)
What’s different about what Muru Music is doing? All the playlists system-generated by iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Beats and other premium platforms seek to keep queuing up similar songs, one after another. Eventually, any listener gets tired of listening to the same kind of music over and over again.
Muru Music lets you quickly and easily create a musical journey between genres, BPMs and moods to suit a party, a commute or the changing moods of a retail business or office.
There are some interesting revenue and partnership ideas to explore when the app is live soon in the iTunes App Store.
While we wait for Muru Music to launch, listen to Nicc’s mixes on SoundCloud.