NFT-based music rights startup Royal has raised $55 million in a Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
Connect Ventures, Crush Music, Coinbase Ventures, Founders Fund and Paradigm, as well as musicians The Chainsmokers, Logic, Kygo and Nas also participated in the round. The company has announced that it will use the fund to grow its team and invest in the growth of artists signing up on the platform.
Royal allows fans to buy ownership in songs directly from their favorite artists and earn royalties with them. Brought to life by entrepreneur JD Ross, who is also the co-founder of Opendoor, and DJ Justin Blau, who uses the stage name 3LAU, the platform partners with musicians and allows users to purchase NFTs that represent the collective ownership of these artists’ works.
Blau says Royal was designed so that music copyrights, which today are grossly misrepresented and undervalued, get the value they deserve. Blau gave away hundreds of NFTs last month through the platform, which holds 50% of the streaming rights to his song Worst Case.
The startup says there have already been around $600,000 worth of secondary sales for these tokens, giving the new single a valuation of $6 million. Crypto-friendly musicians like Blau are raising millions from crypto holders looking to diversify their holdings through NFTs while also supporting blockchain-focused projects.