Royal, a startup building a marketplace for digital assets related to music artists, has secured $55 million in funding through a Series A round led by a16z.
Royal aims to provide a way for artists to share ownership of their music with fans by issuing digital collectibles and uncounterfeitable tokens. In a sense, the company’s offering is illustrated in its discovery of 3Lau’s recent drop, where he released a collection of 333 unique artworks that also represent 50% ownership of the streaming rights to his song Worst Case. The company says that since August, more than 120,000 users have signed up to access the platform.
According to 3Lau, while artists may be giving up ownership of their songs in NFT placements, they are also unlocking more value from their art.
“Music has never been available for purchase as art,” he says.” Whatever percentage the artist offers, it unlocks value. Because [fans] can say they’re, let’s say, one of 100 people who own something. They’ll want to promote the artist in more ways and add more value to the community.”
The funding round adds a number of artists to the company’s cap table, indicating that the entertainment community is interested in following 3Lau’s lead. Investors from the vertical include The Chainsmokers, Nas, Logic & Kygo. other investors include Coinbase Ventures, Founders Fund and Paradigm.
Ultimately, 3Lau’s goal is to create a platform where up-and-coming musicians can launch their careers, using NFTs to fund future albums. The new infusion of cash will help Royal build the necessary engineering and legal infrastructure to support such a product.
“We’re rolling it out slowly,” says 3Lau.” We’re building our security, audit and infrastructure to become available for mainstream use.”
Royal further plans to create a native exchange whose users can trade artists’ assets without going through the process of building a wallet.