AIVA, the Artificial Intelligence composing emotional soundtracks music, announced receiving a strategic investment of €1.5m from NetEase, one of China’s biggest internet companies known for operating one of the largest music streaming services and gaming businesses of the country.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
photo: Anna Katina
featured: The Barreau’s brothers, Pierre and Vincent
Founded in 2016 by Denis Shtefan (CTO), Pierre Barreau (CEO) and Vincent Barreau (COO) the Luxembourg-based startup is comprised of a team of ten musicians and engineers from eight different countries.
After having raised 650,000 euros in December 2017 to perfect its technology and launch global partnerships, the startup will reach a new milestone in 2020. “This new fundraising is finally over, it is a huge weight that has been lifted off our shoulders,” says Pierre Barreau.
The current period is not necessarily the best time to announce fundraising in the tech sector in general, as VCs prefer to focus their investments on their existing portfolios.
However, the AIVA team has succeeded in this round in barely six months. “We started discussions with NetEase in December 2019. Their teams contacted us to discuss a collaboration for one of their new products in China and coincidentally, the discussion led to them investing in our company,” said AIVA’s CEO.
NetEase is one of China’s most successful technology companies. Founded in 1997, it operates 163.com, the equivalent of Gmail in China. In addition to email services, NetEase is the second largest video game company in China with NetEase Games, after Tencent. It specializes in the creation and distribution of video games and is the publisher of Blizzard Entertainment in China. Its activities also extend to many other sectors including music and it operates the largest freemium music streaming service in China, the equivalent of Spotify.
The possibilities for collaboration with the Luxembourgish startup are therefore now numerous. This strategic investment aims to turbocharge AIVA’s mission of making music more personalised, and augmenting human creativity through the use of AI. The core idea is now to make the technology available for anyone, individuals included.
The Artificial Intelligence composing music in a wide variety of styles, ranging from Symphonic to Electronic, Jazz, Pop, Rock, and Ambient music, has been used and performed worldwide by world class musicians.
This last point is undoubtedly the most differentiating element of AIVA in relation to its competitors, in particular Amper Music. The technology developed is not only a composition aid for composers, youtubers or video game producers, but it also emphasizes creative interaction with its partners thanks to its team of not only of engineers but musicians. As for the Chinese market, which is considered difficult for a foreign company to penetrate, this investment and strategic partnership with a more than well-established technological leader will enable the company to target a domestic market of nearly 1.5 billion people.
AIVA plans to expand its development team, accelerate its product’s growth internationally, and collaborate on the development of new innovative products with NetEase in China.