Soundraw, AI music composer from Japan, secures $1.4M to boost global expansion effort

Founder Daigo Kusunoki sits in the center among the Soundraw team.
Image credit: Soundraw

Tokyo-based Soundraw, the Japanese startup behind an AI-powered music composing service under the same name, announced on Thursday that it has secured 180 million yen (about $1.4 million US) in the latest funding round. Participating investors are Ceres (TSE:3696), Mint, iSGS Investment Works, SMBC Venture Capital, and Deepcore. For the company, this follows their seed round (securing 65 million yen) in June of 2020 and pre-series A round (securing an undisclosed sum) in March of 2021. Deepcore has also participated in a previous round.

Soundraw was founded in February of 2020 by serial entrepreneur Tago Kusunoki. During his university days, Kusunoki twice won the national championship in a university student dance competition. After graduating from Ritsumeikan University graduate school, he worked for a manufacturer and then launched his own company to pursue his dream of creating something by himself. Prior to Soundraw, Kusunoki has developed the SoundMoovz wearable musical instrument gadget based on his dance experience, which has shipped a total of 400,000 units to 17 countries to date.

Image credit: Soundraw

It is common to hear background music in all kinds of videos on YouTube and Facebook, not to mention on TV programs. Creators of these clips usually choose from stock music services just as they choose photos and images from stock photo sites, but this poses a few problems. Unlike photos and images which can be searched for in a list, they have to listen to and check the music one by one to pick the best fit.

The AI composer can help with these needs, there are no copyright issues involved because each of the tunes created is completely original. This approach of creating a new song to match the clip, rather than searching for one in the past, is an interesting shift. Because of its non-verbal user experience making less language barriers, the platform has successfully attracted more users from the overseas. The automated entire process helps them keep gross margin high.

Although the company has conducted no marketing activities in the global market so far, users from the overseas accounts for 37% of the service’s paying user base, mainly from Europe and the United States. They will use the funds to renew their platform’s user interface and experience drastically and increase the variety of music tracks the platform can create. In addition, they have established a Los Angeles office with several local representatives to boost international market effort.

SOUNDRAW won the Pitch Arena competition at the B Dash Camp 2022 Summer startup conference in Sapporo last month.

via PR Times