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Audiobyte 'blows past' venture capital goal of $6M, extends funding round

The Port Washington music app company plans to use the additional funding for product development, CEO Andrew Blacker said. 

Audiobyte's Gifnote app allows users to send five-

Audiobyte's Gifnote app allows users to send five- to 10-second music clips, known as Songbytes, along with videos via text message or Slack. Photo Credit: Audiobyte Inc.

Audiobyte Inc., a Port Washington web and smartphone music app company, plans to extend a venture capital round that raised more than $6 million earlier this month, officials said.

"We blew past $6 million," Andrew Blacker, chief executive of the company formerly known as Rednote LLC, said of demand for the offering.

That funding round was led by Manhattan-based Evolution VC Partners. Joining in the round was Northwood Ventures LLC, based in Syosset, which had provided earlier angel-stage funding.

Audiobyte initially announced the closing of the venture round on Dec. 10, but Blacker said last week talks with investors for further financing are ongoing.

Blacker said the funding will be used for product development.

The company's Gifnote product lets web and iPhone users send five- to 10-second music clips, known as Songbytes, along with videos via text message or Slack, the business-messaging platform.

Those musical clips are designed to whet the appetite of music fans. For instance, the company offered Gifnotes promoting the soundtrack of a new Jennifer Lopez movie, "Second Act."

"Our business model is in support of the music industry," Blacker said. He said Audiobyte, which has partnerships with three major music companies, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, plans to "monetize" the product in 2019.

Blacker, a former executive of ToneMedia, a Manhasset-based advertising firm that analyzes consumers’ music and spending habits, said Audiobyte has 17 employees.

Recent hires include chief communication officer Erin Johnson, who held the same title at Manhattan marketing communication company J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, and executive advisor Richard Johnson, the co-founder and former president of Qello, a streaming service for musical documentaries and concerts that was acquired by Montreal-based Stingray in January.

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