WillCall, the concert discovery and ticketing app, today announced a new funding round of $1.2 million from a variety of music and entertainment industry figures including Sean Parker, Coran Capshaw and John Frankenheimer. Previous rounds of $50,000 and $850,000 make the grand total $2.1 million to date. Funds will be used to extend the capabilities of the app and enter new markets both in the U.S. and abroad.
According to Crunchbase, WillCall's first round of funding for $50k occured in 2011 with a second round of $850k in 2012. Both are dubbed seed rounds and TechCrunch has more on that phase of WillCall's development.
The app allows you to seek out local concerts in those areas, buy tickets and even purchase merch, tip the artists or get a special bundle that might include refreshments and other options.
What Will WillCall Do With This Cash?
According to the funding announcement, this new round will allow WillCall to:
"focus on building mobile technologies that move beyond ticketing to innovate and support the logistics behind the entire live music experience; bolstering social integration features within the consumer-facing iOS and native Android apps; and setting the foundation for expansion into select domestic and international markets with robust music communities."
Adding social features for music fans and moving beyond New York and San Francisco seem like fairly obvious moves but WillCall is clearly planning a more complex service to benefit both artists and venues. They've already begun building those relationships so if they can successfully stay the course they're going to have a powerful position in the industry.
Who's In On This Round of Funding?
This round adds such investors as:
"Napster founder and Spotify board member Sean Parker; music management powerhouse Coran Capshaw (founder of Red Light Management and ATO Records); and prominent entertainment attorney John Frankenheimer."
Additional investors in this round include:
"SV Angel, Joe Gebbia (co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Airbnb), Oliver Luckett (founder and CEO of theAudience), leading European angel Oliver Jung, and A&R and music management force Bruce Flohr."
WillCall co-founder and CEO states:
"There aren’t many people with visibility into the nuances of both the music and technology communities, and we’re thrilled to have access to the collective wisdom, insight, and perspective of this group of music industry titans."
Is WillCall Poised To Disrupt the Live Music Industry?
The announcement includes a brief about section with the statement:
"By operating at the intersection of the music and tech communities, WillCall is able to leverage mobile technology to disrupt an industry that's been stagnant for decades."
Though I shouldn't read too much into an about statement at the end of a press release, I certainly wouldn't describe the last few decades as "stagnant" ones for any sector of the music industry. Phrases such as "deeply entrenched interests" and "complex barriers to entry" come to mind a bit more readily.
But it is interesting to consider which sectors of the industry WillCall might actually disrupt and which sectors WillCall might help sustain.
Any thoughts on that, Hypebot readers?
[Photo of Will Call co-founder and CEO Donnie Dinch by Ike Edeani.]
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.