An Indianapolis-based music livestream startup has closed on another major round of funding. Mandolin, which launched in in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has secured $12 million in Series A investments and says it will use the funding to further grow its platform, including the launch of its new Live+ service.
Mandolin was founded last June and focused on providing high-quality live feeds of concerts since the pandemic put a stop to shows with fans in attendance. Since its inception, the company has hosted more than 1,500 shows for more than 300,000 fans.
The company’s platform also features artist meet and greets, public and private chats, merchandise tables, watch parties, ticket sharing and charity donation capabilities. Last week, Pollstar named Mandolin the “Best Streaming Platform” during its annual awards.
In an interview with Variety, Mandolin Chief Executive Officer Mary Kay Huse detailed the company’s Live+ initiative, which would provide a digital component to attending a concert in person, such as ordering tickets, meet and greet or after-party add-ons and merchandise sales.
“As venues adopt the Mandolin platform,” Huse told Variety, “I would love it if we could see upwards of 50% of in-person attendees experiencing something digitally while in the venue, as early as before the end of the year. It’s just creating a compelling content that makes them want to do it.”
The publication says Mandolin used the Live+ service at the recent Telluride Bluegrass Festival and has plans for the service at the Uproar Hip-Hop Festival in Los Angeles in August.
The funding round was co-led by New York-based 645 Ventures and Foundry Group in Colorado, with participation from previous investors High Alpha in Indianapolis and TIME Ventures, the investment fund from Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) CEO Marc Benioff. As part of the investment 645 Ventures co-founder Nnamdi Okike will join the Mandolin Board of Directors.
“At 645 Ventures, we believe that exceptional companies are being built that enable consumers to experience new behaviors that were accelerated during COVID-19,” said Okike. “One of these categories is content livestreaming, and one of these companies is Mandolin. Mandolin provides the best technology platform to enable livestreaming for artists, venues and fans, and they’re building a business to serve the needs of this fast-growing category.”
The Series A round comes less than a year after Mandolin closed on a $5 million seed round of funding.