Lady Gaga has captured the imagination of the entertainment world with her team’s successful social media engagement with the fans she calls her “Little Monsters”, and many other artists and agents are scrambling to capitalise in similar ways. At the same time startups are appearing to meet this need.
To that end MobileBackstage, an interactive fan club service that develops these online relationships between artists and fans, has just today announced it closed a bridge funding round of $1.3 million (€1 million) back in April. The investment was led by Finnvera, the financing vehicle of the Finnish state, which was joined by Miston, a privately owned investment company, management team members, as well as a group of angel investors. The cash will be used for growth, developing the platform and new offices in San Francisco, going existing offices in New York, London and Helsinki.
This follows a round of funding in the region of €2 million in 2010.
More than just another a mobile app, the service creates a fan club environment across multiple platforms connecting fans globally. The app can be fully branded for each artist/band and runs on iPhone and Java-enabled handsets.
The company has so far created fan clubs for artists such as Jessie J., Tinie Tempah, The Kooks, Devlin, Lykke Li, and works with Universal, EMI, Warner, Sony among others.
Mobile Backstage claims that in the past year, end users have generated over 4 million interactions and 100 million page views as a result of its platform.
The startup is a sort of spin out from an agency called Steam Republic, however they are not pushing the Steam Republic name in order to differentiate the platform.
A competitor to MobileBackstage is Moontoast. Both similarly small sized, early stage start-ups offering promising solutions to rebuild try and build deep connections between fans and artists.
Paavo Bäckman, founder and CEO of Mobile Backstage says he has also appointed Johannes Milén as the startup’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO) based in its Helsinki office. Milén is a former CIO of Rautakesko of Kesko, one of the largest corporations in Finland.