Montreal-based startup MFive Labs is announcing a $500,000 seed round as well as the launch of its much anticipated Listn music app. The former FounderFuel and LaunchPad LA company raised the capital from Real Ventures and BDC Venture Capital.
The startup calls the Listn app the “first music app that creates relationships through music,” by forming a social network around peoples’ music libraries. Users follow eachother and can instantly access each other’s music libraries.
MFive Labs compares the experience to sifting through albums at the record store, as users can browse large album artwork attached to each song, prompting conversation around the music with the Listn community. Users can navigate to anyone’s profile, search for friends, follow them and even stream their friends’ music on their own device.
“Listn embraces the openness of the mobile web and its potential to bring people closer together,” said CEO Mike Schmidt. “Just like Instagram helps people share experiences through pictures, Listn connects people through music by enabling users to browse each other’s music collection, whether they are best friends or even strangers.”
MFive Labs’ story is a cool one, given that most of the startup was still completing their undergraduate degrees at Queens University while they completed the FounderFuel accelerator program. After FounderFuel the team headed off to Los Angeles to spend time at LaunchPadLA.
Listn is a fresh play on an incredibly saturated music startup market- yet a market that holds the key to millions of users who are willing to spend money on their favourite music.
The startup claims that it’s different than most music apps that offer no way to interact with services outside of their own mobile experiences. Instead, the Listn platform ties together all of the users’ music in one place, lets them listen to all of their friends’ music, and engages users in communication.
How does it do that? By scanning a user’s entire music library upon download. After this, the app algorithmically links each song to the most appropriate music source, whether that be on Spotify, Rdio, Soundcloud or YouTube. In doing this the Listn app avoids copyright infringements and the need to have a music license. Officially MFive Labs also announced a partnership with Rdio, to enable this kind of experience.
“We’re extremely excited to work with the Listn team,” said Chris Burton, Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Manager at Rdio. “Their approach is a clever way to work in tandem with the copyright and licensing issues often faced by other popular music services, making our services absolutely complementary.”