Scooter Braun, Alex Rodriguez Drop $30MM on Virtual Concert Startup Wave

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Photo Credit: TCDisrupt / CC by 2.0

Virtual concert platform Wave has garnered $30 million in funding from an investment group that includes longtime Justin Bieber manager Scooter Braun and MLB great Alex Rodriguez.

Bonnaroo co-producer Superfly, Twitch co-founder and former COO Alex Lin, and California venture capital firm Griffin Gaming Partners joined Scooter Braun and A-Rod in backing Wave, which had previously secured $10 million in investor funds.

Now, with somewhere in the ballpark of $40 million to cover development and expansion costs, Wave will look to bolster its innovative offerings and increase its prominence in the digital sphere. The brand also intends to expand into Asia – and particularly Japan and China – in the future.

Wave broadcasts high-quality audio from artists’ performances in real time, but differs from traditional livestreaming platforms in that it creates digital avatars, stages, audience members, and special effects, which are meant to replicate (and perhaps innovate) the live concert experience.

To date, Wave has worked with over 20 artists, including electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling, and held more than 50 digital concerts. A beta version of the app is available on Steam, Oculus, and Discord.

In recent weeks and months, Scooter Braun has continued to make headlines for his high-profile feud with Taylor Swift, which reached a boiling point in June of 2019. That’s when Braun’s Ithaca Holdings purchased Big Machine Record Group – and, in turn, the master recordings from Swift’s first six studio albums (excepting her 2019 Lover record, which was released as part of a new deal with Universal Music Group’s Republic Records).

Taylor has been vocal about her intention to rerecord each of these works this November, when she says she will be contractually able to do so, in an effort to damage Braun’s investment.

And given that Swift was surprised to find that she’d released a new album in late April, it appears unlikely that her conflict with Scooter will die down anytime soon.