The team behind ANote Music is still having some stars in their eyes after visiting Bilbao. Over the course of November’s extended weekend, the company won a prestigious award, met with key players from the music industry and had the opportunity to meet one of the most influential producers in the world. A few days before the company’s participation at the Sonic Visions festival, things are looking very promising. An interview with ANote Music’s COO, Matteo Cernuschi and Marketing Strategist, Niels Hoorelbeke.
by: Silicon Luxembourg
photo: ANote Music
featured: Niels Hoorelbeke and Matteo Cernuschi
Listen to article (Part I)
Can you update us on ANote Music. Tell us about your startup.
Many things have changed and/or improved for ANote Music since the last article that was published on Silicon Luxembourg. First of all, we have successfully closed a pre-seed investment round in July and we are now about to close a second one, allowing the founders to focus full-time on the project and allowing an expansion of the team with 3 additional CDI employees (2 Developers and 1 Marketer), resulting in an overall team count of 9 people, including top notch freelancers for specific tasks.
The ANote Music Platform went through a serious update UI/UX wise and is now in BETA-test phase, close to ready for its launch in Q1 of 2020. Our following on social networks and database of interested early adaptors grew also pretty strong. Last but not least, ANote Music got accepted into the Fit 4 Start acceleration program, advanced to the upcoming final of Startup Stories by BIL in December and won the Startup Competition of BIME PRO in Bilbao.
What is BIME?
The Bizkaia International Music Experience (BIME) is a 4-day event being organized since 2013 in Bilbao. It’s at the same time a Music Festival (BIME LIVE), a free open-air music showcase (BIME City) all across the city of Bilbao, and one of Europe’s top Music and New Tech Conferences (BIME PRO). The events gather visitors from more than 30 different countries to Bilbao and is the hotspot for everyone working within the Music Industry in Spain.
“Winning this competition is one thing, but what actually means the most to us is the incredible market validation we received and all the positive feedback from the jury and investors.”
Why did you participate in this event?
ANote Music is the first true Marketplace for Music Rights (see our article “ANote Music, the markeplace for music royalties“). We form the bridge between the Music Industry and the Financial Market. Being in Luxembourg allows us an easy access to that financial market with all its players. The Music Industry on the other hand, is a bit harder to reach and especially this industry is known to be all about having the best connections and the biggest network possible. Hence, it is crucial for our startup to create those strong relationships with players from within the Music Industry. After doing some research online, we discovered BIME PRO and quickly understood that our innovative technology was perfect to be represented at this music conference. We applied for the Startup Competition with our pitch deck and got selected as one of the 20 finalists to get booth exposure. Eventually, we made it also into the last 8 finalists to pitch in front of a jury consisting out of VCs and Music Experts. Our key objective going into this event was to establish solid connections and meet with people from within the industry.
Which prize did you win? What does it mean for you?
ANote Music won the first prize in the Startup Competition, unlike many other events this prize isn’t just a financial aid. The first prize consists out of an all-expenses covered trade mission to the South Summit in Mexico, Bogota and Madrid for one person together with the BIME delegation. During this trade mission, which will take place in the second half of 2020, the organization of BIME PRO will set up a number of high level meetings with VCs and important players from the Music Industry. These networking opportunities are crucial for pushing our project to the next level, and getting the right introductions by already recognized entities makes things a lot easier of course. This kind of prizes is super valuable for us. However, winning this competition is one thing, but what actually means the most to us is the incredible market validation we received and all the positive feedback from the jury and investors. Many experts from music industry came to visit our booth shortly after we won, showing genuine interest in ANote Music and our innovative approach.
“Our team is currently going the extra mile to finalize our trading platform, while at the same time our Business Development team is in talks with several interested parties willing to sell once the platform goes live in Q1 of 2020.”
Together with the BIME PRO organization, we leveraged this victory to get a 15 minutes meeting with Mathew Knowles, a veteran in the business. Besides being the President and CEO of the US-based record label Music World Entertainment, a Talent Manager and a very successful businessman, he is probably best known for being the manager of Destiny’s Child, and being father to superstar daughters Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, who he both managed. It’s not every day a startup from Luxembourg has the chance to talk with a true legend of the music industry like this. After pitching the mission and vision behind ANote Music, we received very motivating feedback and some good business advise. You can’t put a price on these kind of market validations and, to us, they mean the world. Before heading out, Mathew Knowles gave us his business card and told us to remain in touch. Let’s see what the future brings!
What’s next for ANote Music?
Like every startup would tell you probably: “the next months are super important to us”. Well, of course that is also the case for ANote Music. Our team is currently going the extra mile to finalize our trading platform, while at the same time our Business Development team is in talks with several interested parties willing to sell once the platform goes live in Q1 of 2020. Simultaneously, we are running a BETA-test phase and gathering valuable feedback so that we can keep on improving our services. We would like to invite everyone to visit our new website and subscribe to get more information and become a tester. By signing up, those people will also be the first to get informed when the platform officially launches.
ANote Music has also a pretty busy event schedule coming up with Linecheck in Milano and Sonic Visions, the Startup Stories Final and the Global Venture Summit in Luxembourg. We’ll also be traveling early January together with LuxFactory and the Luxembourgish pavilion to CES 2020 in Las Vegas (see our article “20 Startups to fly off to CES in Las Vegas“), an event that will count as another important milestone for our startup. As you can see, exciting times ahead of us and we look forward to making the world discover the hidden value in music.