Former BMG Head Zach Katz Launches Music and Tech Investment Group With Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings
Following his December departure as BMG’s president of U.S. repertoire, Zach Katz has launched investment group Raised in Space Enterprises with Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, Ripple’s Xpring and tech and music entrepreneur Shara Senderoff.
Based out of Braun’s offices in Santa Monica, Raised In Space will fund entrepreneurs with tech solutions for the music space across all areas, including creation, distribution, fan engagement, ticketing and touring, and guide the projects through to market adoption. Raised In Space will leverage its partnership with Ripple’s Xpring to integrate blockchain and the digital asset XRP when applicable. Investments per company will range from $500,000 to $5 million.
Katz, who serves as Raised in Space’s CEO and partner, stresses he greatly enjoyed his six years at BMG, but felt the tug to return to his entrepreneurial roots. Previously a music industry attorney, Katz was co-founder of label Beluga Heights. “Over the last five-plus years every time I’d have one of these conversations with tech founders I’d find myself being super fired up, but the reality was I had to go back to my day job the next morning, so I could never engage,” he says. “I had that look-in-the-mirror moment and thought about my future and I felt I wanted to have different conversations. I wanted to have a different context for everything that I‘ve learned.”
The intersection of the music and technology industries particularly intrigues Katz, who sees great opportunities to further merge the two. “I could never really understand why so many people in the music industry were reluctant to engage with technology when technology, time after time, would come with new ideas and solutions that ultimately boosted the strength of creative people and gave the consumer a much more enriching experience,” he says. “I didn’t really see anyone in the world who was sitting between these two industries and taking these two kids by the hand, so to speak, and walking them to the sandbox and taking responsibility to make sure that they were more aligned than they were different and if they could come together there were victories to be had.”
Braun, best known for managing Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, but also for his savvy investments in start-ups, said in a statement, “The relationship between music and tech has massive untapped potential. I’m excited to launch a company focused on bridging these two industries in a transformative and actionable manner that raises the value of music.”
While Katz would not reveal the size of Raised in Space’s coffers, he says, “We plan to make six-to-10 very well thought-out investments per year in the range of $500,000 to $5 million and we are completely prepared financially to do that for the next five years or more.” He also would not divulge what percentage Raised in Space would take of the companies in which it invests.
Raised in Space has already looked at “dozens and dozens of companies” to potentially invest in over the last few weeks, Katz says, adding, “We’re also looking at companies that aren’t even focusing their technology on music. My team and I will look at each other and go, ‘Whoa! That could be incredible in the music industry,’ so our scope isn’t narrowed just to companies who are creating products for music; it’s companies that have incredible technology that can fit into music powerfully.”
As far as the unique company name, it comes from Katz’s desire to align with innovative, forward thinkers. “The world is divided into two halves. One half of the population is still held down by the gravitational pull of old school thinking and procedures,” he says. “Then you meet those people where they look at the world differently. They collaborate and innovate differently. Those people are just not from this planet. Those people are raised in space and that’s where [the name] comes from. It speaks to that population of guys and girls who are building the future, who aren’t willing to be part of the old conversation.”