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Rednote, a Port Washington app company, raises $5.9M

Andy Blacker, CEO of Rednote LLC, maker of

Andy Blacker, CEO of Rednote LLC, maker of a music texting app, at his Port Washington office March 22, 2017. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Rednote LLC, a Port Washington company whose iPhone app lets users send short music clips with lyrics and video, has raised $5.9 million in a round of venture capital funding, according to a government filing.

Rednote allows people to send clips via text message showing videos such as a panda doing pushups, dancing babies, swimming dogs and memes from “The Simpsons” and singer Rihanna. The clips are organized by themes like “flirt,” “celebration” and “thank you.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday said Rednote had raised $5.9 million of a $6 million offering. Rednote executives said the total included $2.6 million in funding previously disclosed in a filing in March.

The company, which employs 15, has offices on Main Street in Port Washington above an optometrist’s office.

Investors include Syosset-based Northwood Ventures, whose managing director, Paul Homer, sits on Rednote’s board of directors. Northwood was the lead investor on the funding round and was joined by high-net-worth individual investors.

Rednote chief operating officer Kristin McDonnell, in a telephone interview Monday, said the funding would be used primarily for product development and growth.

Every Rednote clip includes some lyrics and the name of the song and the musician. The company is working to exploit those features as it develops a business model for 2018 to generate revenue from the music industry by promoting artists and their work, executives said.

“We’re in a very defined lane that has a massive opportunity,” chief executive Andrew Blacker said in the same telephone interview. “At the end of the day, they’re all trying to get into the text messaging space.”

The Pew Research Center found that 97 percent of U.S. smartphone owners used text messaging at least once over the course of the one-week study period in 2014, making it the most widely-used basic feature or app.

Citing the complexities of securing music rights in other countries, McDonnell said the Rednote app appears only in the U.S. version of Apple’s app store.

Blacker, a former executive of ToneMedia, a Manhasset advertising firm that analyzes consumers’ music and spending habits, said Rednote has “no plans” to release an app for Android phones until 2018.

Rednote was founded in Milton, Massachusetts, by advertising executive Richard van den Bosch in 2010 and was awarded a patent on its process of embedding music snippets in February 2016.

Boston-based Detwiler Fenton & Co. provided investment banking services for the venture capital deal.

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