Down, But Not Out: Sellaband Files for Bankruptcy (Updated)

Update: Sellaband has released an official statement, confirming its bankruptcy while pointing to a near-term buyer.  More details here.

The emerging fan-funded space may have claimed its first casualty, according to bankruptcy paperwork now filed with an Amsterdam court.  “Sellaband is bankrupt,” the Netherlands-based Financieele Dagblad declared this morning, just one of several Dutch papers to jump on the filing.  Rechtspraak.nl also reported the news.

The site (sellaband.com) has also been down for days, though the company is still fighting for its life.  “We are working hard to restart,” appointed trustee Paul Schaink told local news source NU.nl this morning.

Pim Betist, the original site founder and still a shareholder, noticed warning signs years ago and urged cost and quality controls.  But Betist told NU that “unfortunately his advice was not listened to,” part of a growing rift.  Betist left in 2008 after various disagreements and started a modified venture called Unsigned Africa.

Separately, a source to Digital Music News was unable to confirm the exact situation at the company, though the former business partner noted that communication stopped the company stopped paying.  “Read of that what you will,” the source shared.

Sellaband, a major fan-financed startup alongside Slicethepie, Pledge Music, and others, recently struggled to raise enough financing for Public Enemy.  Instead of the targeted $250,000, arguably an oversized amount, the Chuck D-led project got stuck in the $60,000s.