Moment House has raised $1.5 million in funding to elevate digital live music performances people pay to attend. It is filling a gap that has widened during the pandemic, in the virtual space between free live performances and paid concerts.
Forerunner Ventures led the round, and angel investors include Scooter Braun, Troy Carter, Palm Tree Crew Investments (Kygo and Myles Shear), Jess Lee at Sequoia Capital, Jared Leto, Jack Conte Patreon, and others.
With the close of its seed funding round, Moment House is also introducing its platform that lets artists create special digital experiences. To kick off the launch, the company is announcing Yungblud’s digital world tour, as well as additional Moments by Blackbear, Kaytranada, Kygo, Denzel Curry, Ruel, and others.
Moment House CEO Arjun Mehta said in an interview with VentureBeat that he learned the basics of starting a company at the University of Southern California’s Jimmy Iovine & Dr. Dre Academy, an interdisciplinary entrepreneur program. After graduating, he went to work with Shray Bansal and Nigel Egrari to build Moment House with the goal of bringing people together through art and technology. The platform has been in development for the past year.
“It really came from this notion that ‘If I’m an artist or creative and I want to go live on the internet with a high-quality experience, and I want to charge for it, how would I do it?’” Mehta said. “And there was no obvious answer to that question, which felt a bit absurd. It’s like a fundamental utility missing from the internet. There’s no simple and elegant way to do this.”
The company has handled dozens of Moments in the past few months as it worked to validate the platform. Platforms like YouTube and Twitch focus on free performances that are monetized through ads. But Moment House is targeting events that core fans will pay $10 or $15 for — elevated experiences that are less developed than a formal concert.
The Moment House platform is designed to enable special Moments on the internet. With its geofencing capabilities, low-latency streaming technology, ticketing security, merchandise integrations, and global payment support, Moment House aims to offer advanced infrastructure while remaining artist-friendly. Artists earn 100% of the ticket revenue, with Moment House collecting a small service fee from fans.
As Yungblud launches his sophomore album Weird!, he is kicking off his first digital world tour with Moment House.
“With Moment house, every event is called a Moment, every digital event, every digital experience. And really, it’s about how do we design this experience to feel very elegant, to feel exciting to feel compelling?” Mehta said. “There’s a special ephemeral quality to digital events, about how culturally relevant they are.”
Livestreaming on platforms such as Twitch serves one of these purposes, but the focus on gaming is very different, Mehta said. Twitch, for instance, isn’t really focused on selling tickets to an event.
“We’re laser-focused on the needs of an artist, and we’re not orienting it around free content,” Mehta said. “This is for an artist who already has an audience and you’re engaging the core fans with content.”
The company has a dozen employees.
“Our North Star is the fan experience,” Mehta said. “The focus of our company is on the great moments of great artists. If we really nailed this and fans feel like these moments are great, then we are hitting our goal. Our product roadmap goes beyond just the chat and the screen. There are so many more unique interactivity points during the moment, before, or after the moment.”
The pandemic has accelerated the company’s momentum for funding and signing up artists, but it isn’t the only enabler, Mehta said.
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