Future of concert technology

"Live music. Some says it’s thriving; some say it’s dying." The kickoff to our new blog series on different verticals in the London tech scene focuses on the future of concert technology.

This picture depicts public transport, but it could be a concert, right?

Live music. Some says it’s thriving; some say it’s dying. With festivals like Glastonbury selling out in minutes, it’s hard to imagine that live music is anything but a winner for musicians, venues, and promoters. But the reality is starker, particularly for independent artists and smaller promoters and venues that “are struggling to make a profit on each show due to high artist fees and small marketing budgets.”

The answer – as with most things, it seems – is technology. From the nuts-and-bolts tasks such as booking artists, selling tickets and turning fans into marketers to leveraging wearables and virtual and augmented reality to enhance the fan experience, the opportunities for venues and promoters to improve their bottom line via technology are vast.

But, which technologies will reap the most benefits?

Eventbrite recently interviewed “20 music and technology leaders who are on the cutting edge of concert technology…and surveyed nearly 50 live music venues about their top challenges, and how they’re using technology to solve them.” The findings have been compiled into a report on The Future of Concert Technology, making eight key recommendations for how promoters and venues can “get smarter about how you use technology to produce and promote live shows.”

While some of the predictions are based on technologies and platforms already available and in use, many aren’t. So what opportunities are there for start-ups to disrupt and innovate in this highly lucrative area?

 

Integrating profession and fan video streams – before, during and after show

We’ve all had friends who post concert photos on Facebook and Instagram feeds (ahem, guilty), but the report’s findings show that with Facebook Live and Snapchat quickly becoming ubiquitous in the live music environment, there are opportunities to give fans a more holistic and immersive live concert experience, despite not being physically in the venue.

Making viewing experiences interactive can make fans at home feel more like they’re part of the live experience. This could be done by integrating performance videos from both concert goers and a band’s official stream with behind-in-the-scenes and fan footage. RFID and drones can be used to zero in on specific moments and people.

What’s missing, though, is a platform that can successfully bring all these elements together.

 

Leveraging data to improve marketing, retention and rewards

More than any other industry, the music industry has seen an exponential increase in data generation, due partly to streaming and digital downloads. This data is already being applied to choosing touring destinations and identifying fans, but many promoters and venues have yet to tap into this and their legacy data to pinpoint customer patterns and repeat visitors, and market to them accordingly. 

“The most strategic way for venues to target their advertising in the future won’t be using data from other sites — it will be using their own data more effectively.” Many venues use generic CRM systems to analyse ticketing patterns, but what if they – and artists and promoters – had access to an open platform that gave them access to ticketing, streaming, and social media data? “Fans could receive the most targeted info about tours and artists coming to town. This open platform approach could enable the use of artificial intelligence or machine learning that understands fan behaviour and delivers recommendations that feel hypercurated for them alone.”

 

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality

With Pokemon Go taking augmented reality mainstream, businesses are scrambling to find ways to implement the technology into their offering. The music industry is no exception, but as of yet “no one in the music industry seems quite sure yet how these hot topics will affect live shows.”

Possible applications, however, are plentiful. “Venues could use AR to activate challenges within the venue for rewards, or artists could tour with 3D glasses and use a 3D screen behind the performance. Or, the performance itself could become part of games that fans already know and love.”

Still, it appears that the music and technology industries have yet to land on a way forward, or find a way to package these technologies for an end-to-end approach.

Are you currently working on an API or a back-end technology that meets the needs laid out in the report? Get in touch with us to chat about bringing your start-up to the next level of its evolution.

 

Gayle Kennedy

Guest writer
Gayle O’Brien started her writing career during Web 1.0 and still appears to be standing. After multiple stints in-house and agency side, her writing now focuses on start-ups, technology, and innovation. A dual citizen of the US and UK, Gayle divides her time between Massachusetts and south-east England.

We're hiring! Project manager for fintech development in Finland

We are hiring a project manager for our IT team in Finland!

About Invesdor:

Invesdor is the pioneering Nordic market leader in digital fundraising and equity crowdfunding. Our fintech company, which was founded in Finland in 2012, operates an online investment platform that connects ambitious European growth companies with investors worldwide. So far Invesdor has helped raise more than 26 million euros and arranged more than 70 successful funding campaigns. Invesdor's clients include private and publicly traded companies from Finland, the UK, Norway, Sweden and Denmark as well as investors from more than 50 countries. Invesdor has offices in London and Helsinki.

Job description:

We are looking for a project manager for our small and efficient development team based in Autotalo, Helsinki, Finland. You would take over the responsibility of the project management work, which is currently done by our CTO and you would be working closely with our CTO, CEO and the management team. You would work as a filter between our business units and the development team as well as a buyer of outsourced development capacity. You will be gathering business development improvements and needs from the operational team, prioritising them and planning their development with the internal and external development teams. We are looking for an entrepreneurial person, who is ready to claim ownership of the projects. Programming experience is a great bonus.

Main tasks and responsibilities:

·       This is a half-time/part-time position initially (can also be done through a company)

·       General project management with many open projects

·       Receive and plan new development needs

·       Prioritise the work and allocate it to our internal and external teams

·       Negotiate to buy outsourced development projects or tasks

·       Play fair, get shit done and take the business seriously, not yourself.

Tech stack:

·       Ruby on Rails, Scala

·       HAML, SASS, React

·       Relational databases, ElasticSearch

·       RSpec, Capybara, PhantomJS

·       Git

·       AWS

Requirements:

·       5+ years of experience in project management/web development.

·       Ability to work flexibly in a dynamic, challenging and fast moving environment.

·       Ability to work independently and to take responsibility.

·       Willingness to learn and actively contribute to the growth of the company.

·       Working language is English, but this position benefits of spoken Finnish.

We are building the best place for funding ambitious European growth companies and we want you to be part of it. Please contact lasse.makela@invesdor.com and petteri.kaapa@invesdor.com with your expected salary level and links to your LinkedIn profile /CV.

The importance of portfolio diversification in startups

The wizened investor understands the importance of portfolio diversification, and will understand how straightforward it has become with the development of the equity crowdfunding industry.

Making of a diversified investment portfolio

Attracting new and varied investors has been core to equity crowdfunding’s appeal since its inception. As the industry has soared and begun to provide returns to its loyal, early supporters, a varied investment portfolio featuring crowdfunded equities has become increasingly appealing. While retail investors are typically attracted by admiration for an individual product or support for a specific company, more and more are realizing the benefits of a diversified portfolio. Today, Invesdor will asses how investment through equity crowdfunding enhances your investment portfolio, whether you have years of, or minimal, investing experience.

 

Skepticism of equity crowdfunding

Detractors to the industry have long had misgivings over a perceived inability to offer liquidity, which have since been denounced by notable successes from an array of companies. Evidently, there is an inherently higher element of risk, and of reward, when investing in an unlisted company, to which retail investors may not be fully familiar. However, this is also an essential element of a truly diversified and healthy portfolio. 

By eschewing financial advisors, capital raising experts and resources necessary to assess the best practice to diversification, investing in companies through an equity crowdfunding platform allows one to easily diversify the portfolio. Wealthy individuals can use EIS or SEIS funds to diversify in the UK, just as business angels and retail investors can now turn to equity crowdfunding as an innovative means of cross-border diversification.

 

The best alternative

As an alternative to traditional long-term investment, crowdfunded equities demand a waiting period of minimum five years before returns would be viable. This wait may be unappealing to some, but it bears remembering for retail and other investor types that equity crowdfunding attracts a broad range of companies – across the tech, financial and consumer industry, all are recognizing the benefits of the democratized financial regime. Additionally, investors are able to avoid the cumbersome and costly due diligence and fund management fees associated with a large and diverse portfolio.  This frees up larger sums of capital for additional investments. Indeed, such capital may be required for further fundraising rounds that crowdfunded companies occasionally decide to undergo when considering expansion.

 

Becoming popular

Equity crowdfunding rose to popularity for opening up financial services to a new array of investor types, democratizing finance and supporting innovative companies and individuals in the process.  The industry demands fewer capital requirements, allowing all types of investors to diversify more easily than in the past, accessing the full gamut of companies, across the full spectrum of maturity, instantly, without the need for costly advisory services.  The wizened investor understands the importance of portfolio diversification, and will understand how straightforward it has become with the development of the equity crowdfunding industry.

 

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Richard

Guest writer
Richard Andrée Wiltens is a commentator within the fintech sector, who has written for an array of international investment platforms. His career has spanned from investment banking to financial technology firms, backed by an education in economics and finance.

Invesdor kicks off Norway’s equity crowdfunding market with 3 successful cases in 2016

Invesdor’s first year of helping Norwegian companies raise funding resulted in three successful funding rounds: Cloud Solutions AS in March, Bad Norwegian AS in August and Kitemill AS in December.

Press release

PRESS RELEASE 10 January 2017

  • Equity crowfunding platform Invesdor’s first year in Norway resulted in 3 Norwegian companies getting funded, including the NOK 6m funding of Kitemill AS
  • All 3 companies received investments from several countries
  • Three new Norwegian funding rounds already announced for 2017
  • The funding round of Carepacks AS launches today with more than 40% already invested

In February of 2016 Invesdor became the first licensed equity crowdfunding platform to launch in Norway. Invesdor’s first year of helping Norwegian companies raise funding resulted in three successful funding rounds: Cloud Solutions AS in March, Bad Norwegian AS in August and Kitemill AS in December.

The most recent of the three, Kitemill, raised NOK 6.4m with its equity offering thus becoming the largest equity crowdfunding campaign in Norway to date. All three of the successful campaigns received cross-border investments from outside of Norway, most notably from Finland, Sweden and Germany.

“The economy in Norway is changing rapidly,” says Peter Moore, Equity director Norway at Invesdor. “I have seen big changes within just twelve months and am very impressed with the quality of companies I’ve been in contact with. Norway has many interesting growth stories just waiting to be told.”

However, currently digital fundraising in Norway is small. “The finance ecosystem needs to change with the economy. Currently it is all closed networks, manual and traditional – in many ways similar to what we saw in Finland three years ago,” says Moore. “We are going to digitalise it.”

There is demand for leaner and more outward-looking ways of fundraising amongst growing young companies. For Kitemill, the developer of a kite-based energy generation solution, the Invesdor campaign was the first experience with digital fundraising. “We are really pleased with the success of our campaign on Invesdor’s platform,” says Thomas Harklau, CEO of Kitemill AS. “It has been a very exciting process and we learnt a lot during the whole thing. We are now looking forward to executing our plans in 2017.”

For the beginning of 2017, Invesdor already has its next campaign – Carepacks – launching at the time of writing.

CarePacks AS is an exciting company, as they want to make it easier for people to choose a healthier lifestyle without compromising the experience of taste as well as the quality of life. That's why they are offering healthy alternatives to snacks and candy delivered monthly straight to their customers. They also have a number of new product launches in the pipeline during 2017. “We see Invesdor's digital equity crowdfunding as a great way to expand our business network as well as getting a lot of dedicated ambassadors onboard, both nationally and internationally,” says May-Rita Kappfjell, CEO of CarePacks.

“I think that what I feed my body with should give me something positive in return. Since this is very important for me, I want to inspire and motivate people to choose healthier and to take smarter choices in their everyday lives, both between workouts and on weekends," says Ezinne Okparaebo, three-time Olympian and co-Founder of Carepacks.

Invesdor has two more campaigns announced for 2017, currently in preparation: TurtleNeck – accessories that solve everyday problems and Greenstat – portfolio of green projects and companies in Norway.

 

Contact

Peter Moore, Equity director Norway, Invesdor

peter.moore@invesdor.com, +358 458776650

Mikko Savolainen, Communications manager, Invesdor

mikko.savolainen@invesdor.com, +358407475205

 

Invesdor in brief

Invesdor is the Nordic market leader in equity crowdfunding platforms measured in invested capital and revenue in 2015. A financial technology (fintech) company founded in Finland in 2012, Invesdor operates an online investment platform that connects ambitious European growth companies with investors worldwide. So far Invesdor has helped raise more than 25 million euros and hosted 70 successful equity crowdfunding campaigns.

Invesdor's clients include private and publicly traded companies from Finland, the UK, Norway and Denmark as well as investors from more than 50 countries. Invesdor has offices in London and Helsinki.

Invesdor media kit

The man who couldn’t learn languages: The story of WordDive

WordDive was born when the company founder and CEO Timo-Pekka Leinonen got fed up with his language studies that just wouldn't progress. Today the WordDive language learning application is used in more than 150 countries.

WordDive language learning app
 
Timo-Pekka Leinonen

Timo-Pekka Leinonen
Founder and CEO of WordDive

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Timo-Pekka worked for Nokia, where he was globally responsible for a network management system with a turnover of over 400 million euros. He is a Licenciate of Science (Technology) and an economist and has studied English, Spanish, Japanese, French, Swedish, German and Russian at the university level.

WordDive was born when the company founder and CEO Timo-Pekka Leinonen got fed up with his language studies that just wouldn't progress.

”The problem was that no matter how much I studied, I got stuck even in the simplest practical situations," Leinonen says.

When all else had failed, it was time to go ask his language teacher mother for help. Together with his mother, Leinonen took his learning process apart, drafted a schematic of the pieces and realised he hadn't been studying in a way that was right for him. The pace of learning new things and repeating old things had been wrong. Leinonen decided to combine his software know-how and his mother's language teaching experience and started programming the first WordDive prototype.

Today, Timo-Pekka Leinonen’s learning innovation has developed into a unique iOS, Android and desktop application that is being used in over 150 countries.

“What motivates me as an entrepreneur and CEO of WordDive is the fantastic customer feedback that we get. We have many customers who have been struggling with their language studies for years. When they discover WordDive and start getting results, they become so happy! They realise that they really can learn to speak another language even if they thought it was impossible,” Leinonen says.

Thanks to the artificial intelligence, the pace of learning and the exercising of study items can be optimised individually for each user. In addition, WordDive is based on the use of multiple senses, which is the most efficient way to learn a new language.

”Finland has been an excellent place for developing WordDive because of the evident need for language skills and high quality teaching. Also, the high school final exams are held twice a year, which has enabled us to develop our flagship product, the prep course, at a rapid pace. Now the product is ready and it's time to scale up fast. Our main goal for 2017 is to achieve a significant position on the German market. The next target is to obtain a clear market leadership in the German prep course market. Our growth is aided by a method that's unique on a global scale, Samu Haber as our brand ambassador and international app stores where anyone can download our app," Leinonen says.

At the moment 25 % of Finnish high school seniors use WordDive, and 98 % of them recommend the course. For a product that was launched just two years ago, these are pretty impressive numbers. “I am honestly taken aback by the results and the amazing recommendation rate of the prep course, and how quickly we achieved it. I have an amazing team filled with talented professionals. When we work together, beautiful things are born. Sometimes even I am surprised at the great things we can create together” Leinonen laughs.

Timo-Pekka Leinonen describes himself as a leader with courage and a sense of direction. “I want everyone at the company to understand the vision and to look in the same direction. This creates clarity and focus, which in turn leads to great results. As a manager, it is my job to make sure that my employees have the opportunity and the conditions to succeed”, he says.

WordDive's equity offering reached €470,000 during the hidden phase of its campaign and oversubscription two days after its public launch. The maximum target has been upped to €1.2m. See WordDive's pitch for the current situation.

Finnish education export at its best: Digital prep course finds an international audience

WordDive's digital matriculation exam prep course achieved market leadership in Finland in just two years. Now the company is looking for funding to accelerate its international growth. Next destination: Germany, the birthplace of the Abitur exam.

Worddive language learning app

PRESS RELEASE January 3rd 2017

WordDive's digital matriculation exam prep course achieved market leadership in Finland in just two years. Now the company is looking for funding to accelerate its international growth. Next destination: Germany, the birthplace of the Abitur exam.

25% of Finnish high school seniors are already preparing for their language exams with the help of WordDive's digital prep course. 98% of them would recommend the course to others. The course was developed by the Finnish educational technology company WordDive and uses an award-winning, AI-based application to help users to learn languages.

"We estimate that 40% of Finnish high school seniors will use WordDive in 2017," says WordDive CEO Timo-Pekka Leinonen.

Next, WordDive will head to Germany, where the Abiturprüfung exam is very similar to that in Finland. "Test marketing in Germany was a success, so our goal is to achieve clear leadership in the German prep course market by 2019. We're working on this together with Samu Haber, the front man of the band Sunrise Avenue, who is a major celebrity in Germany," says Leinonen.

After Germany, the company is the most likely to head to China, where the local final exam Gaokao plays a defining role in a young student's future studies and career. WordDive's equity offering, released in the crowdfunding service Invesdor today, has already raised over 470 000 euros from 230 investors during pre-release marketing. The aim of the crowdfunding round is to raise a maximum of 800 000 euros of new capital.

"WordDive is an internationally competitive product based on personal optimisation, gamelike features and the use of multiple senses. The prep course can be used on a computer as well as on iOS and Android mobile devices. A grade guarantee makes the course even more attractive: for example, Finnish students who complete the prep course but don't get at least the second best grade in English will be fully refunded," Leinonen says.

Read more about WordDive's equity offering at Invesdor.com/worddive

 

Contacts:

Timo-Pekka Leinonen, CEO, WordDive Oy
timo-pekka.leinonen@worddive.com, +358 40 506 6048

Mikko Savolainen, Communications Manager, Invesdor Oy
mikko.savolainen@invesdor.com, +358 40 747 5205

 

WordDive in a nutshell:

WordDive is an AI-based unique application for learning languages. In addition to prep courses, WordDive offers language courses for adult learners, with 10 languages and hundreds of courses on different levels to choose from. WordDive combines the best of Finnish education know-how and game industry and has won multiple awards, such as Best E-learning Solution in Finland and Best Mobile Service in Finland. In spring 2015, WordDive made it to the Red Herring Europe Top 100 list. WordDive has over 250 000 users in 150 countries.

More information:  www.worddive.com.

Invesdor in a nutshell:

A financial technology (fintech) company founded in Finland in 2012, Invesdor operates an online investment platform that connects ambitious European growth companies with investors worldwide. So far Invesdor has helped raise more than 25 million euros and hosted more than 70 successful equity crowdfunding campaigns.

Invesdor is the Nordic market leader in equity crowdfunding platforms measured in invested capital and revenue in 2015. Invesdor's clients include private and publicly traded companies from Finland, the UK, Norway and Denmark as well as investors from more than 50 countries. Invesdor has offices in London and Helsinki.

Invesdor media kit