Firm offers music recommendation applications.

Spain-based U.S. music-recommendation company MusicStrands Inc has announced its first major institutional investment deal with Barcelona-based venture capital firm Debaeque Venture Capital.

Total investment in MusicStrands is now $4 million, but MusicStrands VP of marketing and communication Gabriel Aldamiz declined to specify how much Debaeque had pledged. The company aims to raise $5 million more in the next few weeks with another round of investment.

Debaeque managing partner Patrick Raibaut said MusicStrands' strength was that "it is a technology that is for Internet, television and the mobile phone industry."

The deal will enable to develop its activities. The Barcelona-based company uses artificial intelligence technologies to provide music recommendations based on playcounts and on the listening behavior of individuals and social networks.

MusicStrands operates from Barcelona and Corvallis, Ore. Aldamiz says the company is in talks with two European mobile phone companies and with a South Korean operator for the use of its applications. He anticipates that before year's end, MusicStrands will announce a major advance in music/cellphone access using the company's own technology.

Aldamiz says, "There will be an explosion in the music/mobile phone sector in the next few months, and we shall be in the European vanguard."

He says Asia is a main target for the company as social recommendation technologies helping people to discover and enjoy new music does not yet exist in the region. Through the company's talks in South Korea, MusicStrands wants to "take that technology there."

MusicStrands was one of the finalists at the IMEA Awards 2005, held during the Popkomm trade show in Berlin In September.