The line of investors trying to press their way into Turntable.fm‘s latest round of funding was appropriately similar to the line outside a crankin’ dance club: a mix of money and celebrity. And not everybody could get in. But the funding finally closed, and it came in at $7 million, half a million less than the amount “confirmed” by Business Insider in July. Turntable had offers on the table for twice as much money, but they really wanted Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures to lead the round. Wilson will take a board seat.
The other investors include the original investors in Turntable’s predecessor company, Stickybits: First Round Capital, Polaris Venture Partners, and Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital. Some celebrities and entertainment executives also got into the round, such as Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter, Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary, Jimmy Fallon, band members from the Roots, former MySpace Music president Courtney Holt, and former Facebook exec Tim Kendall. I also heard that a second venture capital fund, perhaps Benchmark or Kleiner, put in a nominal amount just to get an option to invest in the next round.
Turntable is a social music site that launched in private beta last May. I stumbled upon Chris Sacca’s avatar DJing there late one night just before the last Disrupt in New York City. You need to know someone through Facebook to get in. But once you are in you can listen to others players spin some tunes while your avatar bobs its head, or take a turn at the turntables yourself to earn points from the other listeners in the same room. More than 300,000 rooms have been created so far, and the site has grown to 650,000 registered users, with about a third of those active.
All told, Turntable is already streaming more than one million songs a day, which is why both Hollywood and Silicon Valley are paying attention and pulling out their check books.