Royal, a non-fungible token (NFT) music platform, raised $55 million in a Series A funding round led by venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz.
Royal is a marketplace for music NFTs, allowing users to purchase shares of songs then earn royalties on the music they’ve invested in.
The platform will use funds “to invest in the growth of its ecosystem,” according to a press release. Royal did immediately respond to Blockworks’ request for further clarification on how the capital will be used.
“The value of music ownership is vastly misrepresented and undervalued today, but it won’t be for too much longer, as more musicians embrace the web3 ecosystem,” co-founder and popular electronic dance music artist Justin Blau said in a recent blog post.
The round, which was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), attracted traditional investors such Coinbase Ventures, Paradigm, and Crush Music. Other participants include celebrities such as Nas, The Chainsmokers, Disclosure, Logic, Stefflon Don, Kygo, and Joyner Lucas.
“Music is one of the most exciting unlocks for NFTs,” Kathryn Haun, a general partner at a16z, said in a statement.
Blau, commonly referred to as DJ 3LAU, gave away digital assets worth 50% of streaming ownership in his most recent single last month. The song, “Worst Case,” reached an implied value north of $6 million in two weeks on Royal’s marketplace.
However, as NFT startups like Royal begin dabbling with more complex intellectual property and ownership splits, speculation emerges around how regulators will react in the uncharted legal waters. Blau told TechCrunch that Royal’s team is working with legal counsel to ensure that it is compliant with securities laws.
“A true fan might want to own something way earlier than a speculator would even get wind of it,” Blau said. “Democratizing access to asset classes is a huge part of crypto’s future.”