Jelli, the crowdsourced social radio platform, is today announcing $9 million in additional funding, in a round led by new investors Intel Capital and Relay Ventures. The round also saw participation from existing investor First Round Capital, as well as individuals including Roger Ames, former Chairman of EMI Music.
Related to the funding news, Jelli also detailed its growth over the past year, saying that it has expanded its user base by 250% to reach 2 million listeners per month, and it has expanded its lineup of station partners, and is now delivering 500% more radio ad impressions than it did a year ago.
The startup first launched back in 2009, then calling itself a “Digg for streaming music,” as it allows users to vote up or down the tracks they want to hear. Unlike Pandora, which is focused more on delivering personalized stations for individual users, Jelli brings listeners together to program stations together, in a more collaborative way. But what’s really clever is that the music users vote on isn’t just played in the app for other mobile listeners, it’s also broadcast on terrestrial radio through partnerships Jelli has with affiliate stations.
In March, Jelli reported partnerships in 20 markets across the U.S., including Philadelphia (94.5 WPST), Atlanta (96.1 WKLS), Minneapolis (102.1 KEEY), Las Vegas (96.7 KYLI, 94.5 KXLI) and others. Today, that lineup has expanded to 70 radio stations, Jelli founder and CEO Michael Dougherty tells us this morning. “We are now running 60 million terrestrial radio spot impressions a month – up 500% from a year ago,” he says. That’s about 30 spots heard per listener per month, he explains. Many of Jelli’s partner stations have since seen increases in ratings, revenue, online traffic and Facebook Page likes as a result of their adoption of the service.
The Jelli application is available on desktop and web, as well as on both iPhone and Android. “Android has been huge for us,” says Dougherty. “Jelli for Android is about 50% of total usage, with Jelli for iPhone at 30%, and web/desktop at 20%.” The company recently updated its iOS app to version 2.4, introducing several improvements learned from the Android experience which may impact iOS usage going forward. A new web/desktop experience is also now in the works.
With the additional funding, the company will focus on continued product development, and specifically its Ad Platform, with an emphasis on engagement, targeting, and analytics for agency partners. Jelli is also hiring in sales and marketing, and planning to expand outside the U.S. Dougherty says that plans are already underway with international partners, but he can’t share the details on those efforts just yet.
Jelli is one of several new companies Intel has invested in, the firm revealed today. At the organization’s two-day Global Summit in California, Intel announced it had invested a total of $40 million in 10 startups, including Jelli, content sharing platform Box, content distributor Hungama.com, game developer LIFO Interactive, mobile proximity platform NewAer, e-payment platform PagPop, cloud service provider Tier 3, 3D game developer Transmension, integrated circuit design shop FocalTech and mobile advertising provider UUCun. Financial details of each investment were not disclosed.