Photo Credit: Mogul
Mogul raises $1.9 million in seed funding from Wonder Ventures, United Talent Agency, Amplify.LA, and Creator Partners.
Mogul, a platform for artists to easily track their income and unclaimed royalties, has raised $1.9 million in a seed funding round from Wonder Ventures, United Talent Agency, Amplify.LA, and former SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor’s Creator Partners. The company has been in private beta since last year with 250 artists, where it has tracked $3.5 million in previously unidentified revenue.
Co-founded in 2023 by SoundCloud’s former head of creators, Jeff Ponchick, and ex-SoundCloud VP of engineering, Joey Mason, Mogul began as an idea for a way to track missed royalty income for musicians. The pair started thinking about the platform as a serious project after leaving SoundCloud in 2022.
“We were very interested in why musicians always needed more money but were having issues taking steps to get paid what was owed to them. This felt counterintuitive,” Ponchick told TechCrunch. “We dug deep and got on calls with musicians with different career trajectories and a lot of similarities started to emerge in the problems they were facing.”
Mogul’s dashboard gives artists an overview of their income sources, both recordings and publishing, including mechanical royalties, public performance rights, and neighboring rights.
The company lets artists connect to different sources for music distribution, such as District, FUGA, Audiomack, and DistroKid, allowing them to track royalties across different platforms. In addition to looking at their income from different streaming platforms, Mogul also enables artists to look at track-specific income.
Mogul estimates that artists miss out on royalty income equating nearly 10% of their lifetime earnings. Ponchick stressed that missed royalties are often the result of problems created while registering for copyrights.
“A lot of it boils down to registration-based issues,” he noted. “With so many platforms an artist has to manage and take care of, a lot slips through the tracks just due to the sheer complexity and opaqueness of the music industry. Our job is to clean this up.”
Mogul is still exploring different ways to earn revenue, such as introducing a model that provides different levels of auditing to startups, and features like royalty anomaly detection for enterprise users. The company has also tested a model where it takes a percentage cut from artists from the royalty amount recovered — but it will finalize its models based on artist feedback.
“Making the platform and reporting easy to use and understand will be key to success,” said Sam Wick, head of UTA.VC, who believes the biggest challenge for Mogul will be ensuring ease of use for musicians. “Mogul will interface with multiple platforms, rights information, and territories. It is an incredibly complex problem.”