Virtual concert startup Wave has raised $30 million in series B funding led by Maveron that features participation from Griffin Gaming Partners and individuals including Scooter Braun, Alex Rodriguez, Superfly co-founder Rick Farman and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.
The company will use the investment to go beyond concerts and into the broader entertainment experience space, including gaming and social. The round also included NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Avex, Superfly Ventures, Convivialite Ventures and Raised in Space. Wave, which has raised $40 million to date, counts RRE Ventures and Upfront Ventures as existing investors.
“It’s a privilege to be supported by such distinguished investors like Maveron and Griffin Gaming Partners, who have funded breakout consumer businesses,” said Wave co-founder and CEO Adam Arrigo. “The added support from several new strategic partners shows the entertainment industry is looking for new, interactive ways to connect with today’s digital generation.”
Based in Los Angeles, Wave was founded by music and tech veterans looking to take live events like concerts digital. The company works with music labels, management companies and independent artists to stage virtual concerts featuring digital avatars of popular musicians. The company recently announced a series of virtual shows, dubbed One Wave, featuring John Legend and Tinashe.
“I want to work with today’s most forward-thinking leaders in music and technology,” said Braun, the music manager who works with artists including Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. “The future of the industry depends on it. Adam and his team at Wave are bridging these two very important industries to create transformative experiences for the next generation of concert-goers, with a refreshingly artist-first approach.”
Virtual concerts are becoming popular, especially as live festivals and shows have been canceled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Epic Games, maker of Fortnite, has been a key driver of the trending, hosting a 2019 concert with DJ Marshmello that drew more than 10 million people. In April, rapper Travis Scott made headlines for performing a show via Fortnite.
Wave, which plans to expand into Japan and China, hosted its most recent show on June 5 featuring the digital avatar of singer Tinashe.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.