Trac raises $2.5 million to help artists monetize music

Music tech startup Trac, which helps independent artists distribute songs, merchandise and NFTs, has raised $2.5 million in pre-seed funding led by Nigerian investment firm Zrosk.

Launched in 2020 by founder Cardin Campbell, a former marketing technology manager at Peloton and Expedia, Trac bills itself as a one-stop-shop for musicians to monetize and manage their careers. The Santa Monica-based company allows artists to upload songs and distribute them to major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. It also allows artists to design and sell merchandise such as shirts, hats, and hoodies through websites the platform creates for them.

While Trac offers its music distribution services for free, it offers premium features such as faster streaming revenue payouts through subscriptions starting at $60 per year, according to its website. The company also collects a 3% transaction fee on revenue paid out to artists. About 200,000 artists have used the platform so far, a Trac spokesperson said.

Founder and CEO of Trac, Cardin Campbell.

Courtesy of Trac

Campbell told dot.LA he envisions Trac becoming something like an Amazon Web Services for artists – a single platform for up-and-coming musicians and superstars to manage their operations. Currently, most of Trac’s clients are newcomers who don’t have a label behind them and aren’t in a rush either, according to Campbell.

“[Trac’s artists] want to stay independent,” Campbell said. “So our product literally helps them with that and makes sure they can retain all possible rights, and monetize their name and image and music with their fans very easily.”

AppWorks, InfinityVC, Calm Company Fund and Dapper Labs, along with angel investors like Roham Gharegozlou and Siqi Chen, have joined Lagos-based Zrosk in the pre-seed round.

Trac, which currently has 45 employees but less than 10 full-time, plans to use the funds to expand its engineering and operations teams. Like seemingly everyone in the music industry these days, the startup plans to enter the crypto world in the coming weeks and start minting non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, for its artists. , Campbell said. Trac also wants to create Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) for artists, which could then sell their own crypto tokens to raise capital and give fans a share of their future revenue.

“You’re literally investing in that artist’s future and helping them take it to the next level,” Campbell said of Trac’s DAO designs. “It flips the industry on its head.”

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