We first met Detroit-based startup Rapt.fm back in November 2012, when we were swinging through town for the TechCrunch Northern Meetups. It’s safe to say that Erik Torenberg was the first startup CEO I’d ever met whose demo included a freestyle rap. And the product, though then still in an early private alpha version, was very cool as well — a website that lets people all over the world engage in live rap battles in front of an online audience.
Since then, a lot of growth has happened over at Rapt.fm, and yesterday evening the startup finally opened up to launch in public beta. This means that anyone, anywhere, at any time, can head over to the site and view or engage in competitive lyrical wordplay. This is no small feat for a bootstrapped startup — enabling live video, music, and an audience that can respond in real time takes some technical chops.
Torenberg (aka T-berg) has been on his grind visiting San Francisco and Silicon Valley this week, so he stopped by TechCrunch’s San Francisco HQ to talk about the beta launch.
He gave TechCrunch TV a look at the latest version of the Rapt.fm, engaged in a live rap battle with Rapt.fm developer Jarrett Abello (aka Johnny Gigantic), and also talked about the future of the company and its revenue plans — and how, much like RapGenius, the platform’s vision can go well beyond rap. Check it all out in the video below.