AI-powered music-making Roblox game developer Splash raises $20m ‘to launch the next generation of superstars’


Australia-based startup Splash, a developer of an AI-powered Roblox game that allows players to create music and perform to live audiences in virtual venues, has raised a USD $20 million in Series A funding.

The round was co-led by Amazon’s Alexa Fund and BITKRAFT Ventures with participation from Khosla Ventures and King River Capital.

Founded in 2017, and formerly known as Popgun, Splash says that it was launched to aid music composition and creation with machine learning and AI.

Splash says that the investment will be used to improve its AI-powered virtual instruments, expand on the Splash virtual venues, grow the Splash community, and establish key partnerships in gaming, entertainment, and music.

Splash has three areas of focus including Splash Games, Splash Tools, and Splash Stars.

Using platforms like Roblox, Splash Games lets players interact with music in ways ranging from performing live to playing music-related mini-games.

To date, the game has amassed over 128 million plays and averages 10 million plays per month, with over 5.4 million people performing live on stage in Splash.

Splash Tools is a suite of composition and production tools for musicians to help them create and edit compositions and experiment with a number of AI-powered instruments

The aim of Splash Stars, meanwhile, is to develop virtual popstars.

Kai, for example is the first star to emerge from the game, and whose music video for the track Breathe Again has had over 1.7 million views to date with the virtual artist having collectively “performed” to over 140,000 players in Splash.

 “We are growing a team of musicians, technology professionals, gamers, and creatives who have joined our mission to find new and inventive ways to inspire the next generation of musicians.”

Stephen Phillips, Splash

Stephen Phillips, CEO of Splash, said: “We are growing a team of musicians, technology professionals, gamers, and creatives who have joined our mission to find new and inventive ways to inspire the next generation of musicians.

“With over 7.8 million people who have made music in Splash, we are on track to one day host the world’s must-attend virtual performances.

“We are thrilled to have incredible investors in our corner who believe in our mission to launch the next generation of superstars and become the place where millions of people perform live daily.”

“We’re impressed with what the Splash team has achieved as we continue to expand the focus of the Alexa Fund across consumer technologies more broadly, including synthetics, virtualization, new creator-focused concepts, and NFTs.”

Paul Bernard, Amazon Alexa Fund

Paul Bernard, Director of the Amazon Alexa Fund, added: “Splash sits at the intersection of artificial intelligence and new media generation with a next-gen music creation game that enables people to express themselves beyond the constraints of social media.

“We’re impressed with what the Splash team has achieved as we continue to expand the focus of the Alexa Fund across consumer technologies more broadly, including synthetics, virtualization, new creator-focused concepts, and NFTs.”

“Music and gaming have always had a symbiotic relationship. Through the advent of synthetic reality, we expect the intersection to grow.”

Carlos Pereira, BITKRAFT Ventures

Carlos Pereira, Principal at BITKRAFT Ventures, said: “Music and gaming have always had a symbiotic relationship. Through the advent of synthetic reality, we expect the intersection to grow.

“More time spent in in-game environments means there is an increased opportunity to discover and share the music that connects us to our favorite games and to each other.

“As the creator economy expands beyond pictures and videos, we view Splash as a platform that opens doors for a new class of creators and enthusiasts who are making and sharing music with their communities and paving the way for a more immersive form of entertainment in virtual worlds.”Music Business Worldwide



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