Slicethepie, the musicians community whose members finance member artists, has itself attracted a $2 million third round of investment. The funding comes from Microsoft’s (NSDQ: MSFT) UK developer director Mark Taylor, social housing repair group Mears‘ CEO Bob Holt and online payment processing outfit Datacash‘s founder Gavin Breeze, and will be used “to launch new and unique digital services to artists and record labels“.
The site encourages users to “invest” at least £5 in upcoming acts. Those who reach £15,000 qualify to release an album, while site users can then bet on acts’ success as though the music charts were a stock market. Since launching in June by former corporate finance director David Courtier-Dutton, Slicethepie claims to have funded 13 such acts with a total £200,000 raised from fan contributions; but there are over 8,000 acts on the site vying for attention and Slicethepie claims to have paid £40,000 back to the online “scouts” who spot the hottest bands.
The site gets it own money by charging bands for inclusion and by taking a cut of album royalties and “trading” income. The first album to emerge from the site – The Alps’ Something I Might Regret – was released today via digital distributor Tunecore, but the band isn’t necessarily Slicethepie’s best advertisement as it had already built up a following through gigs and radio play and are releasing their physical CD independently. The site got a £800,000 first round in June 2006 and a second of £600,000 in April 2007 from private investors.