Tastebuds.fm Raises $600k Seed Round to Help People Meet Through Music

Apr 18, 2013, 05:00 ET from Tastebuds

LONDON, April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The social discovery service raises seed funding from Black Ocean to scale team and help music lovers meet offline

Tastebuds, the social service that helps you meet new people through music, announced today the successful close of a $600k seed investment from the technology group Black Ocean. The service allows users to meet new people beyond their existing social graphs by introducing people who share similar musical preferences. Users simply enter three of their favorite bands or artists to start meeting people. The service is available at Tastebuds.fm.

London-based Tastebuds was founded by Alex Parish and Julian Keenaghan after meeting in the band Years of Rice and Salt. They were one of ten teams selected to participate in the inaugural Springboard startup accelerator program in Cambridge in 2011, growing the service to over 100,000 registered users by the end of the following year.

"When you're meeting new people - whether it's making new friends in a new city, finding a concert buddy or meeting a potential partner - it should be fun and as easy as possible. We introduce people using the music they listen to, giving them something to interact around so they can break the ice in a more organic way," said Parish.

The company launched their Spotify app in May 2012 allowing users to share tracks and playlists with new people on the music streaming service. Since then over 50,000 Spotify users have registered using the app.

"We created Tastebuds because we believe in the power of music to connect people," said Parish. "It's proved to be an extremely effective social connector as a massive 43% of first messages sent get a reply. We've also been contacted by half a dozen married couples who met on the site and there's already a Tastebuds baby on the way."

Music discovery also forms a strong part of the service. "Other social services show you an endless stream of what your existing friends are listening to, but their music taste isn't necessarily of interest to you. Our unique Radio feature lets you discover new music that people just like you are listening to, right now," added Parish.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Tastebuds and help them scale the business internationally," said Dickon Waterfield, COO of Black Ocean, "Music is a universal medium that connects people from different countries and backgrounds."

The funding will be used to fast-track mobile app development, develop features to connect members offline through gigs, festivals and music meetups, as well as launch the service in the US.

Notes For Editors

Tastebuds is a social service that uses musical taste to connect people. The UK startup has attracted favourable press from the Guardian and NME among others, as well as the thanks of music fans everywhere. The service has more than 100,000 registered users across 100 countries, with thousands of introductions made every day.

Black Ocean is a technology group that builds companies from the ground-up and invests in very early stage businesses where there's an opportunity to build actively the company together. Black Ocean has offices in New York, London and Moscow.

How does Tastebuds work?

Users simply enter three or more favorite artists on the Tastebuds homepage and are shown suitable matches nearby. If they use Spotify they can set up an account using the Tastebuds Spotify app and instantly find people who share their taste. Users are matched using a proprietary algorithm developed in-house by the Tastebuds team.

Who's behind it?

The site was founded by two musicians from London, UK: Alex Parish and Julian Keenaghan. Both founders are members of the band Years Of Rice And Salt.

For more information, Tastebuds member stories, high res images, or to arrange interviews with Tastebuds staff or users, please email alex(at)tastebuds(dot)fm.

Follow the site on Twitter @tastebuds or visit the blog at blog.tastebuds.fm

Contact: Alex Parish +44(0)20-7693-0173

SOURCE Tastebuds