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Kiwi startup developing prospective musicians through gamification

18 Sep 2017

New Zealand tech startup Melodics has raised US$1.2m in seed capital to take its instrument learning software to more aspiring musicians.

The company, founded by former Serato CEO Sam Gribben, has successfully closed its latest round of investment led by Berlin-based music firm Ableton AG, with support from US accelerator 500 Startups, New Zealand investment funds Tuhua Ventures and K1W1, and Alex Rigopulos, founder of music gaming studio Harmonix.

“Our innovative approach to music learning has already helped over 100,000 finger drummers around the world,” Gribben says.

“This new investment gives us the boost we need to expand into other instruments and change the music learning landscape for the better!”

Launched in 2015, Melodics takes musicians through step-by-step lessons for all abilities, giving instant visual feedback in a format that is motivating and addictive.

Lesson content is created in partnership with industry icons like DJ Jazzy Jeff, Eric Lau and The Gaslamp Killer.

The app is focused squarely on reinforcing the habit of practicing the craft regularly.

“Our theory is that if you practice, you’ll get better, and if you don’t, you won’t,” Gribben says.

“We help by making practice fun, and much more importantly, making it habit.”

This approach is a departure from traditional music learning methods which are often hard to stick to.

“We saw an enormous opportunity to re-imagine the way music is learnt with a proven method that works.”

Melodics was shoulder-tapped to join the 500 Startups accelerator in 2016, finishing up as a Batch 18 favourite as voted by TechCrunch and Forbes.

Since then, the firm has grown to nine staff in New Zealand, Berlin and the United States and producing thousands of hours of high-quality lesson content.

Following the success of finger drums, the team recently expanded to include support for popular electronic drums, with plans afoot to extend their musical repertoire further in coming months.

Gribben is thrilled to have industry heavy-hitter Ableton, who led their angel round, back to support Melodics.

“We're excited to have a partner on board that provides us not only capital but also strategic experience and knowledge that can really open doors. We know they’ll be an amazing partner for the path ahead.”

Chris Woods, Ableton director of communications says, “Sam and his team have managed to create an impressive product that is hugely popular with our customers. Melodics is a great compliment to our recently-launched Learning Music site and we’re really looking forward to working closely with them during this next stage of our partnership.”

Melodics has also announced other changes, with Ableton Woods, and SaaS guru Paul Shingles, CCO of Timely and formerly COO of PushPay, both joining the board.

“Chris and Paul bring a wealth of knowledge in the worlds of SaaS and music technology which will stand us in good stead for the next phase,” Gribben says.

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