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Kid Cudi’s Interactive Live Music App Encore Raises $9M in Funding, Announces Public Launch

The app allows artists to perform live in custom augmented reality environments directly from their mobile devices.

Encore, the interactive live performance mobile app co-founded by Kid Cudi, has raised $9 million in a funding round led by Battery Ventures along with investments from 468 Capital, Parade Ventures, Nomad Ventures, Moving Capital, Kayak Ventures and Gaingels, it was announced Wednesday. The company also announced the public launch of its Encore Studio App.

Co-founded by screenwriter Ian Edelman and startup veteran Jonathan Gray, Encore helps artists monetize their connections with fans by allowing them to perform live in custom augmented reality (AR) environments and more directly from their mobile devices. In turn, fans have the opportunity to connect with and reward artists via gamified “microtransactions” including a “ten-cent clap,” which can be used to watch live shows.

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During Encore’s private beta phase, hundreds of artists – including SSGKobe, The Cool Kids, Too $hort and DC the Don – created and performed shows for tens of thousands of fans, who have collectively “clapped” nearly a million times.

Based in Los Angeles, Encore’s stated mission is to democratize the music industry and create a “middle class of music artists.” Kid Cudi serves as CCO, Gray is CEO and Edelman is president. The company was initially funded in 2021 through a $2 million round led by Battery Ventures.

“My number one priority has always been inspiring others and providing them the space to tell their own stories in an authentic and meaningful way,” said Kid Cudi in a statement. “We created Encore as a space for artists to share their art, build community, while also being able to pay their rent.”

To perform live in AR using Encore, users can download the Encore Studio: Live Music AR app via the App Store on their iPhone or iPad. Those wishing to view an AR performance can download the Encore Studio: Live Music AR app.