HIFI, a financial services startup catering to the music business, has been acquired by Block, the payments technology company launched by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. A person with knowledge of the transaction tells Billboard the deal closed on Tuesday (Oct. 10).
Launched in 2020, HIFI allows clients to track their royalty income from a variety of sources such as publishers, distributors and performance rights organizations. “We initially built the solution to service indie artists, and indie artists’ managers and their teams,” CEO Damian Manning told Billboard in 2021. “What we’ve discovered is the artists in the major label system, the managers in the major label system, major publishing system, had the same set of challenges they’re looking for solutions for.”
Block, best known for payments and e-commerce software maker Square and Cash App, now has a small portfolio of music companies: It acquired music streaming service Tidal in 2021 for $302 million from Jay-Z and a consortium of artists. Block also owns two companies in the cryptocurrency space: Spiral builds open-source projects that utilize Bitcoin and TBD offers an open source platform for developers to decentralized products and services. Block has revenue of $10.5 billion in the first half of 2023, according to its latest 10-Q report.
Joining Block allows HIFI “to further our shared purpose of economic empowerment with the financial technologies and services we have built to help artists thrive,” reads an undated statement at HIFI’s website. “Block has long worked to create economic access across its ecosystems, and through its TIDAL business, is focused on serving artists at every stage in their career.
Among HIFI’s long list of financial backers were Diplo, Quincy Jones, 3LAU, G-Easy, Red Light Management’s Coran Capshaw, Capital Music Group’s Michelle Jubelirer, Mick Management’s Michael McDonald and Jonathan Eshak, 88rising’s Jason Ve and 300’s Rob Stevenson.
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