HIFI acquires The Music Fund to expand funding options, fintech for creators

UPDATED: Music fintech startup HIFI has acquired 2019 Techstars Music Accelerator graduate The Music Fund which provides direct artist funding based on streaming stats.

“Our prediction model enables us to underwrite a variety of short-term financing solutions to artists at absolutely no risk to them”

The Music Fund promises eligible artists cash within 24 hours for a portion of future royalty income over a defined period with the creators retaining full ownership of copyrights and earnings from future releases.

Like competitor beatBread which powers artist advances for Horus, United Masters, and others, The Music Fund relies on data to determine the size and terms of each advance. The Music Fund built its own AI-powered “smart-pricing” algorithm which new owner HIFI plans to use to power new funding options for creators.

John Funge

HIFI, which describes itself as a “financial rights organization for the music industry,” has “built the leading financial platform for music creators and their teams available today,” according to The Music Fund co-founder and CEO John Funge. “Our prediction model enables us to underwrite a variety of short-term financing solutions to artists at absolutely no risk to them, empowering them to record music, go on tour, or market current projects without having to sign away any long-term rights. As we join the HIFI ecosystem, we’re looking forward to leveraging our automated valuation model to deliver an entirely new class of innovative financial products to the music creator community.”

Thomas Jerde

Funge joins HIFI as Chief Technology Officer and his co-founder and CTO Thomas Jerde has been appointed Vice President, Data Science at HIFI.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bob Moczydlowsky led Techstars Music and Warner Music Group were both investors in The Music Fund.

“The Music Fund has developed a funding solution that has been a gamechanger for artists, empowering them to finance their own projects while retaining their copyrights and ownership of their masters,” said Damian Manning, Founder and CEO of HIFI. “Their automated valuation model will accelerate a new generation of financial products for HIFI members and partners. The addition of John and his team will be hugely beneficial to our creator community as we continue to build a technology infrastructure that financially empowers artists across all stages of their careers.”

HIFI, which launched last year, says that it has thousands of applications for membership and is already tracking hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties on behalf of its clients.

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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