Jukedeck launches AI music composer, raises £2M in funding, wins Disrupt London 2015

Jukedeck, the London-based tech startup and Cambridge Enterprise portfolio company, which  has built software that composes music using artificial intelligence, has launched its first product, Jukedeck MAKE, a site for video creators to make unique, tailored music for their videos. The company has also closed a £2M round of funding, led by Cambridge Innovation Capital and on Tuesday was named the top winner in the Disrupt London 2015 competition.

Founded by Ed Rex, a University of Cambridge music graduate and published composer, Jukedeck operated under the radar for its first couple of years, with funding from Cambridge Enterprise, as Rex set about learning to code and building the basis of an algorithm that generates the music. Patrick Stobbs, a classmate from Cambridge, joined and they raised a seed round funding in July 2014, built a team of experts in machine learning, music composition and audio production, and are now ready to launch their first product.

Jukedeck MAKE is a tool that lets video creators make the music they want in an instant. Users can come to the site, choose a style of music, and are presented with a completely unique soundtrack. They can even choose how long the track is, so that it’s just the right length for their video – and there are more features coming soon that are going to make it easier than ever to get the perfect soundtrack.

If you’re making a video, the process of sourcing and editing music is broken. Searching through stock audio libraries takes hours, it’s expensive and the copyright and royalty restrictions are confusing. Our goal is to fix that. We want to give video creators a tool that lets them make the music they want in an instant. We want to make getting the right music as quick and as easy as possible.

Ed Rex

“If you’re making a video, the process of sourcing and editing music is broken,” says Rex. “Searching through stock audio libraries takes hours, it’s expensive and the copyright and royalty restrictions are confusing. Our goal is to fix that. We want to give video creators a tool that lets them make the music they want in an instant. We want to make getting the right music as quick and as easy as possible.”

Their target is the large and growing online video market, dominated by YouTube but also including broadcasters and new platforms such as Instagram and Twitch. “The video industry is growing rapidly, and it needs a lot of music”, says Stobbs. “Our technology allows every creator to make unique soundtracks – and they’re all completely royalty-free”.

Current users include Google Developers and The Natural History Museum, and videos using their music have generated over 16 million views on YouTube. With free music available to early sign-ups, they hope that the customer base will grow quickly.

Alongside the product launch, Jukedeck are announcing a new £2M round of venture-capital funding, led by existing investor Cambridge Innovation Capital, a Cambridge-based investor in high-growth technology and healthcare companies and Cambridge Enterprise sister organisation, with participation by Backed VC and others. As part of the round, Chris Smart (formerly a Director of Shazam Entertainment) joins the Board.

Jukedeck was among a field of 15  start-ups competing in this year’s Disrupt competition and walked home with the £30,000 top prize.

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