Career-Advice Video Platform Bonsai Raises $5.3 Million Ahead of Music-Industry Expansion

Photo Credit: Markus Winkler

Bonsai, a career- and business-advice video platform that’s expanding into the music industry, has closed its seed round after raising $5.3 million.

New York City- and Raleigh-based Bonsai reached out to Digital Music News with word of the just-completed seed round, which was led by former RightsFlow backer Activate Venture Partners. Worth noting here is that RightsFlow founder Patrick Sullivan launched Bonsai alongside former Correlation Ventures senior associate Jake Rosenfeld last spring.

Since then, the one-on-one advice service has raised a total of $5.3 million, once again, and company higher-ups intend to use the capital “to grow Bonsai’s 1:1 professional advice and networking platform.” As part of this growth plan, the Bonsai team will spearhead the aforementioned push into the music industry.

On this front, the entity boasts coaches including The Orchard founder Richard Gottehrer, Alexis Giles (Apple’s global head of commercial development for music publishing), former Spotify higher-up Adam Parness, SoundCloud VP and head of publisher relations for content partnerships Daniel Susla, and artist and SuperPhone founder Ryan Leslie, among several others.

Additionally, Bonsai has partnered with NPO Women in Music and brought on members such as Bea Koramblyum (Downtown Music Publishing’s global head of business affairs) and Su-Rmi Givens (who handles process innovation for digital operations at Universal Music) as coaches.

“We are reengineering how people build professional networks,” the former Overtime board observer Rosenfeld said in the release announcing the funding milestone. “By providing a space for personalized advice and introductions, we make networking more equitable, modern, and deliberate.”

“When it comes to success, a lot comes down to who you know,” added Sullivan. “At Bonsai, the goal of partnering with others is simple – we unlock strong networks for those who don’t already have them, so they can learn and grow, even as the world becomes more virtual.”

Back in March, music-integration platform Songclip raised $11 million in a funding round, upping its total financing to $22 million in the process. And Rock the Bells generated $8 million via a Series A about one month ago – capital that the LL Cool J-founded imprint plans to put towards growing its executive roster and bolstering its hip-hop e-commerce business.

Lastly, Pearpop – a creator-collaboration marketplace backed by The Weeknd, The Chainsmokers, Diddy, Marshmello, Snoop Dogg, and more – revealed in mid-April that it had received $16 million worth of cumulative financial support. Snoop Dogg, Bhad Bhabie, YG, and Marshmello represent some of the creators on Pearpop presently.