Byta is described as “the platform for music before it’s on streaming services”. Byta allows anyone to send and receive digital audio in a clean, simple and secure way. Byta’s users and customers range from bedroom artists to the largest record companies in the world.
The 1.9m CAD funding round was led by the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and a series of private investors including musician Scott Kannberg (founding member of 90s indie rock superstars Pavement) who came to Byta as a user – “In the old days, I would share my music with others via cassette tape or a cdr. It would take hours and lots of postage! Today, with Byta, I can share my music with bandmates, labels, promoters, writers, dj’s, etc in one click. I haven’t found anything as easy and digitally sound as Byta which is why I invested.”
Byta was founded in 2015 by CEO Marc Brown. Until recently, the company was bootstrapped by its founders. This seed round represents the first new money in the audio sharing space in over 10 years. “We built Byta from the ground up, it’s the same advice I give to artists: Get everything in place yourself first, make sure you are ready, then look for outside help. Byta is ready,” says Marc Brown, who has worked across the global music industry for over 20 years.
Co-founder and Head of Product Jen Pomphrey emphasizes how privately sending files or streams—tasks repeated millions of times a day—is incredibly difficult to accomplish efficiently on desktop, and virtually impossible on mobile. Time is wasted, music remains unheard and artists go undiscovered. Shortcuts and insecure products result in leaks and artist’s lose control over narrative and rollout. “This is the problem Byta is solving and why we are committing substantial new capital to product development,” explains Jen Pomphrey.
Byta will also be investing in our new non-profit HowWeListen Education, inspired by our #HowWeListen blog interviews. The series evolved into curated panels and talks at conferences worldwide in 2019. The strand is being further expanded in 2020, including a podcast and workshops from Tallinn to Toronto. “We are developing all kinds of new opportunities for artists, labels and industry partners” says Colin MacKenzie, Byta’s Head of Global Marketing.
About the Canada Media Fund (CMF)
The CMF is a not-for-profit corporation that delivers more than $350 million in funding annually to support the Canadian television and digital media industries through two streams of funding. Byta was funded through the Commercial Projects Program. The program is in place to fund projects that have a greater probability of commercial success. Projects are evaluated based on their potential to attain stated commercial objectives, demonstrate business opportunity and achieve profitability.
Byta (“Bee-tah”: the Swedish word for exchange) is run as a distributed team across three continents. Byta is unrivaled in taking advantage of the unique properties found in audio files – reading and writing file metadata, converting file formats and delivering fast yet secure streaming. Byta is also exceptional in being music’s only Freemium Vertical SaaS, a SaaS business focusing solely on the music ecosystem. Byta’s Free Plan enables artists to efficiently share their music with their collaborators and team. Byta’s Paid Plans offer higher security and collaborative features essential for today’s largest music organisations.