Music Education Startup Tonara Scores $5M Led By Baidu, China’s Largest Search Engine

Tonara, the Israeli startup behind the eponymous interactive sheet music app, has raised new funding to the tune of $5 million from Chinese Internet giant Baidu and returning investor Carmel Ventures. Lool Ventures also participated.

Baidu is the maker of China’s largest search engine and Peter Fang, its senior director of corporate development, will join Tonara’s board. The startup says Baidu’s help will allow it to speed up its expansion in China.

Other overseas startups Baidu has invested in include Uber. It’s also serving as a strategic partner for the car-calling app in China.

Tonara currently offers two products: Tonara, which differentiates from other digital sheet music apps by “listening” to players and automatically flipping pages during rehearsals and performances and Wolfie, a teaching and evaluation tool for music instructors.

Tonara’s growth plans in China will focus around working with Baidu to promote and distribute Wolfie, CEO Guy Bauman tells TechCrunch.

“For Tonara, the truly exciting opportunity in China is much more than the music education market as opposed to the digital sheet music market. There are over 50 million Chinese students learning the piano and another 10 to 20 million learning the violin,” he said.

“Wolfie is designed to help teachers focus on teaching and inspiring their students as opposed to correcting practicing mistakes, and we’re excited to be bringing that kind of optimized experience to such a massive audience as China,” Bauman adds.

In addition to launching Wolfie in Chinese, Tonara also plans to unveil new products and services designed specifically for music students and teachers in China.