A Port Washington company has secured $2.6 million in venture capital funding and launched an iPhone app that lets users send short music clips with lyrics and pictures via text message.
The funding round for app maker Rednote LLC was led by Syosset investment firm Northwood Ventures, according to a government filing earlier this month.
“Currently, there’s no platform other than Rednote to send five- to 10-second [music] clips,” said Paul Homer, Northwood Ventures’ managing director and a Rednote director. “Everyone connects with music.”
Rednote has a free “beta” app available from Apple’s app store, said chief operating officer Kristin McDonnell. She is based in Menlo Park, California, but 10 of Rednote’s 15 employees, including chief executive Andy Blacker, work on Main Street in Port Washington above an optometrist’s offices.
Blacker said that about seven students from Port Washington’s Schreiber High School are learning about startup culture as interns, and 20 or 30 additional students from Schreiber and Port Washington’s Weber Middle School look for glitches in the software as beta testers.
Blacker, a former executive of ToneMedia, a Manhasset-based advertising firm that analyzes consumers’ music and spending habits, said Rednote’s mantra is to “keep it simple” and to follow existing behavior of smartphone users who already share billions of emojis and GIFs each day.
The company, founded in Milton, Massachusetts, by advertising executive Richard van den Bosch in 2010, was awarded a patent on its process of embedding music snippets in February 2016.
Blacker and McDonnell joined about 12 months ago and moved the company to Port Washington.
Homer said that Blacker was recruited for his background in the music business and his expertise in commercializing the intellectual property developed by founder van den Bosch, who remains a director.
Though the Apple iOS app requires no in-app purchases, Homer said that record companies could find Rednote a “compelling” option to spotlight musicians, albums or concert tours.
“We’re not taking the place of iTunes, Spotify or Pandora,” Blacker said. Instead, the clips, which can be searched by artist, lyrics or song name, serve as a musical appetizer. “If you text someone . . . ‘Walking on Sunshine,’ . . . it should drive music consumption.”
The app also lets users send musical snippets along with embedded lyrics on photos from users’ own iPhones or iPads. The app is not currently available for Android smartphones.
A Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated March 6 showed that Rednote raised $2.6 million in convertible debt funding from Northwood and wealthy individual investors.
In 2016, angel and venture capital funding for Long Island startups fell 40 percent to $40.95 million in 20 deals, according to data from the National Venture Capital Association.