Whyd, the French startup that lets you curate your favourite music tracks from YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Dailymotion and various MP3 blogs, and connect with likeminded tastemakers, is ditching its invite-wall today to open fully to the public.
It’s also announcing a modest Seed round: $700,000 from private France-based investors — capital it plans to use to bolster its mobile engineering team and launch its first mobile app within the next few months.
Originally launched as an invite-only Beta in November 2012, Whyd offered music bookmarking functionality along the lines of Wayra-accelerated and UK-based Songdrop, which we described as a “Delicious for music“. Users install the Whyd bookmarklet to their browser to begin adding tracks from various online sources for later playback.
However, the Paris-based startup’s broader plan was to become a music-based social network, and last March it flipped the switch on its recommendation engine to match users with similar tastes.
I’m told that the decision to remain in invite-only Beta for such a long time, not only enabled the team to hone its technology but also to grow the social aspect of the service in a way that promoted the quality of its music taste-making community, in size and density. It now feels it’s in a position to connect those early-adopters, made up of concert venues, music bloggers, DJs and artists, collectives, and general music curators, with a more mainstream audience.
Whyd says that 20 percent of its active users return to the service daily, while it will only disclose overall number of users as in the “dozens of thousands”. The service is proving most popular in cities such as London, NYC, Berlin and Barcelona.
Meanwhile, half a million tracks have been added and shared on Whyd. “We’re not talking about Top 40 mainstream hit songs but about indie tracks, remixes and playlists discovered by a unique community of music lovers around the world,” says co-founder Gilles Poupardin.