With social media here to stay, it’s become a powerful tool for marketing amongst musicians, especially when they have fans who do so much of the heavy lifting by promoting the artist. Some of those fans are genuinely ‘super fans’ who act as, basically, unpaid promoters. And they can be powerful. For instance, Justin Bieber fan account @JustinCrew has over one million followers on Twitter. But identifying them, and then rewarding them for their dedication is a problem that needs solving.
Buddybounce is a UK startup that thinks it has the answer to this need. It’s a tool that gives artists and their management teams the capability to identify their super-fans, engage with them and also reward them.
It’s now secured an undisclosed seed financing round from Angel Academe, a fairly new, angel investment network, made up of High Net Worth Individuals who are, mainly though not exclusively, women. Angel Academe specialises in backing women-led startups and Buddybounce is its first investment.
The money will be used for expansion and to launch a new iOS app for fans.
Lead investor Hannah O’Shaunessy will be joining the Buddybounce board. Other investors in the round include long-term advisors Alicia Navarro, CEO at Skimlinks and Geoff Heath OBE, former Climax chairman, Founder of Activision Europe and NCsoft Europe.
Buddybounce was launched in April 2013 by Emma Obanye and Giulia Piu. In that time it’s garnered over 25,000 registered users to its beta site. It’s also working with artists, labels and brands including Transmitter, Union J and Conor Maynard.
One of its key features is the ability to give away prizes to super fans including Meet & Greets, Skype calls, signed merchandise and gig tickets.
Obanye says “When artists start having fans across various social media platforms, managing their relationship with them becomes tricky. We are here to help to provide them with a solution.”
This is the first investment by Angel Academe, a network whose mission is to encourage senior professional women to become angel investors, especially in women founded tech businesses.
Sarah Turner, the founder of Angel Academe, says they were “impressed by the momentum they’d achieved so far with extremely limited resources.”
The closest competitors to Buddybounce include Starcount which has just raised $10 million, but it is more focussed on data analytics. Another, Fahlo, hasn’t launched just yet, but is backed by Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber’s manager) and Google Ventures.