It’s the least sexy way to grow a business. But after nearly 11 years of self-financing, Symphonic Distribution has $4 million in funding.
Hang around the music tech space long enough, and you start to see some patterns. One of those is the heavily-funded music startup that goes ‘poof’ three years later. Or, quietly disappears after throwing a lot of SXSW parties and blowing $10 million.
This one’s a healthy break from that. Symphonic Distribution, a company quietly staying self-financed for a decade, has now rallied $4 million in funding. That’s right: a ‘Series A’ a decade later, with the foundation laid.
All of which is great news for Symphonic, but also a good sign for the broader industry as well.
The company was started in Tampa, Florida in 2006 by Jorge Brea. Since that point, Symphonic has basically remained under-the-radar while amassing 10,000 label and artist partners. But just like bigger rivals CD Baby and Tunecore, Symphonic distributes to all the usual suspects: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer, Tidal, etc. And crafting long-term deals with a more boutique approach.
It’s not even clear these guys needed a funding round.
But Ballast Point Ventures has ponied up the $4 million infusion. “After 10 years in business and being completely bootstrapped, we finally found a great VC firm we want to partner up with and we have received $4M in investment,” Symphonic’s Janette Berrios emailed DMN.
“It’s both an exciting and scary feeling, we have to admit, but ultimately we are really happy and excited on what’s to come.”
Actually, later-stage investments are nothing new.
Billions annually are deployed for ‘late-stage capital,’ with entire firms dedicated to the specialization. So Ballast is likely seeing a great, technically later-stage growth story here as well.
It’s just a little unusual to see a story emerging quite like this.
For Symphonic, a surge in streaming also introduces a host of expansion possibilities from the initial foundation. The company brands itself as a SaaS solution, and seems to be moving into royalty-accounting services as well. Currently, rights owners face a patchwork of different royalty sources and rules, not to mention payment issues.
All of which is boosting an entirely new class of problem-solvers (think Stem, Exactuals, Kobalt, and GMR, for starters). And obviously drawing a lot of new capital.
Ballast Point Ventures (BPV) currently has $360 million in capital, and targets equity investments in the $4 million to $10 million range. The company focuses on companies in Florida, Texas, and broader Southeast US.