Trac, which operates as “a one-stop-shop for artists to monetize and manage every aspect of their careers,” has officially announced a $2.5 million pre-seed round.
Two-year-old Trac just recently unveiled the multimillion-dollar raise, which was led by Lagos, Nigeria-based Zrosk Investment Management. Entities including Dapper Labs and the Calm Company Fund, in addition to individuals like Dapper CEO Roham Gharegozlou and Sandbox VR’s Siqi Chen, also backed the artist-monetization startup.
Los Angeles-headquartered Trac intends to use the $2.5 million tranche “to scale the business and increase its market reach while expanding its engineering and operations teams,” according to higher-ups. (Cardin Campbell, formerly a senior director for global marketing IT at Peloton, founded Trac and serves as the business’s CEO.)
Regarding the specifics of this growth plan, Trac currently offers artists “free” distribution to leading platforms, per its website, and generates revenue from “Pro” plans, “touring pages,” “integrated merch pages,” and sync deals.
In an effort to build upon these features, Trac “will soon begin creating decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) for artists that will run on their own unique artist tokens that incentivize engagement,” execs disclosed when announcing the funding round. Moreover, the startup emphasized the continued steps it’s taking towards “bridging Web2 and Web3” by “quickly adding on other integrated products to create the ultimate artist stack.”
And in a statement, Trac’s aforementioned CEO, Cardin Campbell, acknowledged the perceived career advantages afforded to artists who utilize one-stop monetization solutions.
“Artists shouldn’t have to worry about technology—what’s a blockchain, an NFT, or even how to work a crypto wallet,” said the former Nike and Expedia exec Campbell. “They should have a platform at their fingertips that they can trust that is always innovating and creating opportunities for them to monetize their passion.”
In a statement of his own, Samson Esemuede, Zrosk’s chief investment officer, touted Campbell’s vision and the broader significance of Trac as Africa’s music markets continue to develop and expand.
“The recording industry is ripe for disruption and has been for years. It’s an industry where many artists struggle with building a fanbase and monetizing their career,” said Esemuede. “We were captivated by Cardin’s passion and his vision for tokenizing the music industry, that not only solves these age-old problems but finally flips the industry right side up.
“In addition, as Afrobeats is becoming one of the biggest cultural exports from the African continent, trac provides the sort of infrastructure that ensures that the value generated from such exports is extracted by the people responsible for creating them,” he finished.
In terms of investments in Africa’s music space to this point in 2022, Warner Music kicked off the year by acquiring a majority stake in Africori, while Nas that same month participated in a $20 million raise for Cape Town-based mobile-game publisher Carry1st. Lastly, Kobalt Music founder Willard Ahdritz closed out 2022’s first month by joining the “unicorn board” of Norrsken22, a tech fund that’s poised to spend $200 million backing African companies.