Backplane (@thebackplane), the digital startup co-founded by Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter, has raised $4.5 million in fresh funding from prominent Silicon Valley investors, according to a report at the Wall Street Journal. The additional funding will go toward hires, according to the report. The company's website currently lists 12 job openings.
The Series A found include Sequoia Capital, Battery Ventures, Formation 8, Greylock Discovery Fund and Advance/Newhouse Investment Partnership. Previous backers include Tomorrow Ventures, the investment firm of Google chairman Eric Schmidt.
Backplane, operating in stealth mode since forming last year, calls itself "a new type of social platform aimed at helping niche communities build, host and grow robust and engaging online systems." It believes communities should be built on common interests rather than personal connections, an ethos that fits well with the online and social marketing that typifies Lady Gaga's career.
Based in Palo Alto, California-based, Backplane will soon come out of stealth mode. The first out of the gate will be Lady Gaga's Backplane-powered LittleMonsters.com. Currently in invite-only phase, LittleMonsters.com will get a public release this spring, according to the Journal.
TechCrunch got a preview and called it an engaging and visual community platform that "combine(s) some of the key features of Pinterest, Tumblr, Canvas, and Ning." The company is sure to get some attention next month when it hosts a "hackathon" at SXSW that will be judged by the likes of manager Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber), Roc Nation president Jay Brown and Carter.