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Social-Focused Remix Startup Hook Expands Seed Round, Aims to ‘Capture the Full Value of UGC’

hook seed round

Hook founder and CEO Gaurav Sharma. Photo Credit: Florian Koenigsberger

Social-focused remix startup Hook has expanded its seed round to a total of $3.5 million and added a Snap music exec to its advisory board.

AI-powered Hook revealed the newly acquired capital today, after disclosing in October of 2023 that it had obtained $3 million in seed funding. Waverley Capital and Point72 Ventures led the latter round, whereas Imaginary Ventures as well as “a group of strategic music and social media industry investors” put up the just-identified $500,000.

Founded by Natalie Massenet and Nick Brown, New York City-based Imaginary has backed companies including Stripe and Skims since arriving on the scene in 2017, according to its website.

Meanwhile, in addition to publicly highlighting this latest funding achievement, Hook took the opportunity to announce its initial advisory board. The involved professionals include but aren’t limited to DJ KSHMR, Snap music-partnerships exec Manny Adler, former Sound Ventures partner Abe Burns, Downtown Music founder Justin Kalifowitz, Hundred Days co-founder Benjamin Klein, and Reed Smith managing partner Gregor Pryor.

Currently “in private closed beta,” Hook says it’s coordinating with artists, labels, and social media services alike “to build a platform that unlocks new revenue streams” for music.

Moreover, Hook founder and CEO Gaurav Sharma, formerly JioSaavn’s COO, in a statement underscored his company’s objective of optimizing UGC monetization on social services.

“Artist compensation on social media is one of the most pressing issues in the industry,” Sharma said in part. “Hook is working with artists, labels and rights holders to help them capture the full value of UGC and fan expression on social media. That’s just one of the reasons the investors have been so enthusiastic about us.

“Natalie Massenet is a proven, authentic visionary who understands how to execute, and having her and her team at Imaginary supporting us will be our superpower,” he proceeded.

Notably, KSHMR in remarks of his own emphasized the perceived accessibility and ease of use behind Hook.

“The era of viral homemade remixes is here and Hook is the first platform to recognize and make sense of it,” the Berkeley-born Karam creator communicated. “It’s also the first app I’ve seen in years that will actually get average Joes creating music – anybody with a thumb can do it. I’m proud to be involved in the early stages and can’t wait for people to see just how fun Hook is to play with.”

According to its website, Hook is set to arrive on the App Store “soon,” with a waitlist in place for interested creators, fans, artists, and labels.

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