Verswire — a venture capital music startup launched by Veeps founder/COO Sherry Saeedi, Blink-182‘s Mark Hoppus and Lippman Entertainment partner Nick Lippman, with Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz on board as a strategic advisor — raised $12.3 million in seed and Series A funding led by E.O.A. Productions and idobi Radio along with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman and Foo Fighters tour manager Gus Brandt. Concurrently, Verswise announced a new publishing arm set to launch this year in partnership with Kobalt Music Group.
Verswire has been described as a development incubator for both emerging and established artists that tailors a custom investment for each, including “funding, resources, tools, mentoring, support from prominent music executives and an ecosystem to own and operate their businesses within while allowing them to keep majority ownership of their masters,” according to a press release at launch. The company has signed two artists thus far: Beauty School Dropout and brand-new signee Girlfriends, an alt-rock duo composed of Travis Mills and Nick Gross.
Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American rights to director Alexandria Bombach’s Indigo Girls documentary Indigo Girls: It’s Only Life After All, which premiered on the opening night of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. The distributor is planning a theatrical release for the film in the spring.
BMG acquired the majority of the recorded music catalog of French pop singer and composer Alain Chamfort. The acquisition comprises 13 albums, including Poses, Amour Année Zéro, Tendres Fièvres and Secrets Glacés as well as some of his biggest hits, including “Manureva,” “La Fièvre Dans Le Sang” and “Géant.” BMG will release Chamfort’s future recordings, including a four-track EP with Sébastien Tellier in January and a new studio album, L’Impermanence, in March. BMG will subsequently reissue several of Chamfort’s previous albums.
Additionally, BMG has strengthened its interest in Berlin band NENA‘s catalog, including the band’s global smash hit, “99 Luftballons.” Adding to its existing shares in the catalog, the company has acquired singer Nena’s U.S. recording copyright and ROW artist royalties, along with three band members’ artist shares. Other songs in the NENA catalog including “Nur geträumt,” “Leuchtturm,” “Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann” and “? (Fragezeichen).”
Iron Horse Acquisitions Corp., a special purpose acquisitions company (SPAC), has raised $69 million from an initial public offering of 6,900,000 units at $10 each. Each unit consists of one share of common stock, one full warrant and one right to receive one-fifth of one share of common stock upon the consummation of an initial business combination. The company’s units are listed on the Nasdaq and started trading under the ticker symbol IROHU on Dec. 27. Founded by Jose A. Bengochea, who serves as CEO, Iron Horse is described as a media and entertainment-focused blank check company that will focus on deals spanning verticals including music rights aggregators, music licensors, international music labels, K-pop, AI, production studios, celebrity-backed content creators, gaming, fantasy sports, social media marketers and talent management.
TRINITI, a generative artificial intelligence platform powered by music tech studio CreateSafe, has partnered with newly launched music production platform SOUNDS.STUDIO, which will use TRINITI technology to provide an in-browser music and audio AI tool allowing users to create and distribute music all in one place. TRINITI previously made news for powering Grimes‘ AI voice model. Under the new deal, SOUNDS.STUDIO will allow its users to have the GrimesAI voice model on their own music and then distribute it to the major streaming platforms via TRINITI’s distribution channels.
Lyrics licensing and data solutions company LyricFind acquired technology company Rotor Videos, which makes it easier and more cost-efficient for artists and labels to create video content for Spotify Canvas, Apple Motion Art, social media platforms and more. The Rotor Videos team will continue to be led by founder/CEO Diarmuid Moloney, who will report to LyricFind founder/CEO Darryl Ballantyne. Along with the acquisition, LyricFind and CD Baby have struck a partnership to launch integrations of the Rotor Videos tool and LyricFind’s video enterprise solution, enabling CD Baby artists to create video content directly on the CD Baby platform.
ADA Worldwide has struck a distribution partnership with Omnivore Recordings covering the label’s entire catalog along with new releases. Omnivore specializes in historical releases, reissues and previously unissued vintage recordings, as well as select releases of new music, on CD, vinyl and digital. Omnivore’s catalog includes recordings by such acts as The Muffs, Alex Chilton, Laura Nyro, Stephen Stills and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
ASM Global has renewed its management contract with the Wilmington Convention Center in Wilmington, N.C., extending the relationship through 2028. The relationship between the two extends back to 2008.
Colombian hemp and cannabis producer One World Products partnered with Kx Family Care, a CBD-enriched personal care product line created by Stephen Marley and Shelly O’Neill. Under the deal, One World will produce and distribute Kx Family Care products in Colombia and Latin America, with the two companies collaborating on efforts to market and distribute the products.
Kids’ music brand KIDZ BOP struck an exclusive apparel licensing deal with IHL Group. An all-new KIDZ BOP apparel line including activewear, intimates, sleepwear and loungewear is set to hit North American retailers in the third quarter of 2024.
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