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Music social network Crowdmix in administration

The ambitious start-up, which aimed to build an entire social network around music and streaming, will file for bankruptcy after failing to secure emergency funding

By IQ on 12 Jul 2016

Crowdmix UK staff

Crowdmix's UK staff outside its east London office in April

image © Crowdmix/Glassdoor

Crowdmix, a UK-based start-up positioning itself as an ‘Instagram for music’, has entered administration after burning through over £14 million in funding.

The news was broken to Crowdmix’s 130 staff yesterday afternoon, reports Business Insider’s James Cook, after the company failed to secure emergency investment over the weekend.

The company, founded in 2014 by Ian Roberts and Gareth Ingham, soft-launched an invite-only version of its app in May, not long after laying off 8% of its staff and just before Roberts departed. The app, a music-focused social network, presents users with a feed of posts from other users, including 2,000 ‘influencers’ (musicians and celebrities), and also offers music streaming capabilities through services such as Spotify and Google Play Music.

“As Google learned the hard way, there is only room for one major-scale social network”

Crowdmix raised £14m in investment last year alone, including £6.5m from property tycoon Nick Candy. In October it hired Rob Wells, former head of digital at Universal Music Group, who stated that although “initially skeptical, I quickly became incredibly excited by the scale of Crowdmix’s ambition”.

Cook reports that the company intends to sell itself as a going concern (a business making a profit without the threat of future bankruptcy) but says it may only be able to auction off its intellectual property.

Mark Mulligan’s MIDiA Research says Crowdmix “convinced itself it could build an entire new social network around music” and gives three reasons as to why that wasn’t the case: Music is “not important enough” for people to build a social network around; “as Google learned the hard way [with Google+]”, there is only room for one major social network (Facebook); and social networks are “yesterday’s technology”: “Messaging apps have replaced social networks for gen Z and younger millennials,” says Mulligan.


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