Web3 music marketplace Sound has hit a high note, securing a whopping $20 million in a Series A funding round. The investors? An ensemble that includes a16z crypto, Palm Tree Crew and Scalar Capital, with Coinbase making a cameo. Even music bigwigs—rapper Snoop Dogg and songwriter Ryan Tedder—couldn’t resist tuning in.
The current medium for artists to earn money involves dropping a song on platforms like Spotify or Apple Music, and crossing fingers that enough plays translate to a decent paycheck. Very decent indeed – Spotify, for instance, paid just $0.0033 per stream in 2021. A princely sum of $1 would involve over 300 streams. Sound seeks to choreograph a more profitable dance by allowing artists to sell their music as NFTs whilst also offering the option for free public mints.
The song NFTs let artists showcase their early fan following, among other bragging rights. Ethereum and layer-2 network Optimism form the underlying beats of this innovative system. Sound’s strategy has undeniably struck a winning chord; their song NFTs have more than doubled to over 130,200 since this January, earning a select group of creators $5.5 million in revenues.
Hot on Sound’s trail, liquid staking software developer Alluvial rode the funding waves this week, bagging $12 million from Ethereal Ventures, Variant, Brevan Howard Digital and a host of others. Following the Ethereum Shapella update in April, staking on the Ethereum network has soared. Right now, over 664,000 active validators are on deck, with another 82,000 waiting in the wings.
Alluvial, and DeFi protocols like Lido and Frax Finance aim to leverage this growth. Their strategy? To offer liquid staking tokens that not only beef up security but can also be used on various DeFi platforms to boost yields. And with Alluvial deploying its fresh $12 million to amplify its “enterprise-grade liquid staking solution,” the upbeat tempo in the crypto startup scene shows no signs of slowing down.