Less than three months after announcing a $ 16 million seed round led by Founders Fund and Paradigm, NFT’s music rights startup Royal has raised another slew of funding, with a $ 55 million Series A from the arm of Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto investment.
The startup partners with musicians and allows users to purchase NFTs that represent collective ownership of the works of those artists. The effort is led by Justin Blau, an EDM artist acting under the name 3LAU, and JD Ross, co-founder of Opendoor, a home buying startup. Royal represents a very early, but promising foray into NFT functionality outside of the realms of visual art and games.
Last month, Blau gave away hundreds of NFTs through the platform that had 50% of the broadcast rights to his latest song. The startup says there have already been nearly $ 600,000 in secondary sales for those tokens, giving the new single an implied valuation of $ 6 million. Crypto-friendly musicians like Blau have already deposited millions of crypto holders looking to diversify their stake through NFT while supporting projects that expand the blockchain market opportunity.
Boundary-pushing projects like Royal still have a fine line to walk when it comes to advertising opportunities to grow alongside artists while still complying with securities laws.
This investment is being led in particular by a16z Crypto co-leader Katie Haun, who is on the Coinbase and NFT marketplace OpenSea boards. The firm already has a deep relationship with Royal’s executive team, having previously endorsed Opendoor, Ross’s latest company. Naithan Jones, a former Andreessen Horowitz associate who led the team’s Talent X Opportunity Fund, also joined Royal in September as the company’s chief growth officer.
Alongside a16z Crypto, several music artists are joining the round, including The Chainsmokers, Nas, Logic, and Kygo. Connect Ventures, Crush Music, Coinbase Ventures, Founders Fund and Paradigm from CAA and NEA also participated in the round.