Hello Music, a new online music venture that seeks greater awareness for undiscovered artists, announced it raised $4 million in funding from KVG Partners. The site, at hellomusic.com, launched on Friday.

The company was created by Wilshire Media Group, a digital music product design and development firm founded by Zack Zalon and Brendon Cassidy. Zalon and Cassidy were early employees of Farmclub.com, the short-lived online record label co-founded by Jimmy Iovine and Doug Morris. Later, Zalon was president and Cassidy the CTO of Virgin Digital.

Web sites and companies that act as springboards for unheralded artists are plentiful and, often, well funded. Zack Zalon, a managing partner at Wilshire, says the company differentiates itself because of the human element in the screening process. "We don't believe algorithms work," he said. "They don't. We don't think crowdsourcing works. It doesn't. I think you have to have a pair of ears and quality does matter."

In effect, Hello Music acts as both a filter and a traffic manager, placing good music with partners such as Yahoo! Music and Getty Images.

Here's how it works: An unsigned artists (a limited number in the early stage) sign up and upload songs. Screeners, each well versed in specific genres, listen to every track, rate them and make note of opportunities with Hello Music's partners. The company is limiting the number of invites in stage one. More users will be allowed to use the service when stage two commences in a few months.

A number of partnerships are in place on the launch date. Qualifying tracks have the option of being licensed through AudioMicro and Getty Images. Top tracks will be added to programming at Web radio service Slacker and Yahoo! Music. Artists will also have access to the services of booking site GigMaven, lyric search engine LyricFind, marketing platform Topspin, digital distributor TuneCore (with a "significant discount"), tech platform MediaNet and music analytics firm Next Big Sound.

So how does the site plan to make money? The service does not charge user fees. "We're taking only a portion of what we generate directly for our artists," said Zalon. "Our belief is that our interests are perfectly aligned with the artists. We all make money together."

Managing partner Brendan Cassidy gave Billboard a walk-through of the artist and screener dashboards. The sign-up and upload process is simple enough that anybody could go through the proper steps. Cassidy said the design, which makes easy a data-heavy task, was actually inspired by the simplicity of tax software.

The upload and data entry process covers everything from genre to participating musicians to rights (whether or not it's a cover song, if samples are used, whether or not the artist has right to upload the track).

The screeners' dashboard is equally simple. A screener listens to recently uploaded tracks, rates them, tags the genre and styles, and leaves feedback on over a dozen assessment categories. Screeners can also identify opportunities for each song (music licensing, for example) in their dashboard.