Artist and Inventor Collective The Rattle Receives $1.5m Investment for its Venture Label28 July 2021 - Press release
Based in London and LA, The Rattle is announcing a $1.5-million investment round in its innovative Venture Label initiative. Investing in the worldwide community of artists, inventors, hackers, and innovators the incubator/disruptor space has gathered, The Rattle's Venture Label program prioritizes original, human creation that changes the way people think and behave, rather than obsessing about "traction" and "streaming numbers." The first cohort of artists and startups building ventures in music, technology, and entertainment will be announced in the coming weeks.
"We're not here to pretend to be some new kind of record label or artist services model. We're not here to talk about abstract things like artist empowerment. There's been plenty of tinkering at the margins, and it hasn't helped," explains Chris Howard, Cofounder and CEO of The Rattle. "We're here to build an entirely new foundation for creating and making careers in the art, music, and entertainment space that takes what's helpful from venture-type investment, while never losing sight of artists' and inventors' role: to change what we do and how we think about the world."
Investors have backed The Rattle's new initiative with a total of $1.5m, including investments from notable EU venture funds like LeanSquare. "With LeanSquare we are really proud to be part of The Rattle adventure. Indeed, it is part of our DNA to participate in the co-creation of an entrepreneurial, virtuous and diverse music ecosystem with the artist in the center," says Gérôme Vanherf, Venture Partner at LeanSquare. "We invest in tech start-ups and we create bridges between them and the global industry (with programs such as Wallifornia) and, The Rattle, with their Venture Label model, helps artists to develop their career using the same tools as ours. That is the perfect fit."
The Rattle's Venture Label terms, like the recipients they're funding, are built on breaking the mold. Essentially, the label is standardizing the concept of turning an artist's activity into a company and funding the development of that company. The Rattle's relationship with the founders is built on equity, rather than licenses, IP ownership, or royalties - similar to yCombinator or Techstars. Traditional lenders or labels often take a cut, then artists and shareholders split from the net profit - if any. With The Rattle's Venture Label, artists "pay" for The Rattle through a warrant on equity in their new company and can buy out The Rattle at any time.
"That warrant on equity is a surprise for people," said Howard. "Founders can buy us out on their own and get all their equity back. When we own equity, we are always a minority equity holder. We have no executive control at all, nothing. The point is to allow the founders entire control of what products they make and what art they make."
Additionally, founders on The Venture Label receive a stipend for a year, allowing them to quit their other jobs and focus on their project. They also gain a venture team, which includes experts in non-traditional fields like growth hackers and technology specialists. The goal in that year is to turn their young project into a credible, backable startup.
"The entertainment industry offers little to no job security for artists, and the pandemic exposed that at a scale no one could imagine," Howard said. "We felt the urgency factor. The Venture Label is trying to untangle the economic relationship from the creative relationship for artists. We're trying to push people to see that they can be sustainably employed by their own creation."