Maveron, Scooter Braun, Alex Rodriguez invest in $30M round for virtual entertainment startup Wave

(Wave Image)

Los Angeles startup Wave announced a $30 million investment round to fuel growth of its live virtual entertainment platform.

Seattle VC firm Maveron led the Series B round, with participation from Griffin Gaming Partners and others including entertainment executive Scooter Braun and Major League Baseball legend Alex Rodriguez.

Wave partners with music labels, management companies, and independent artists to help host virtual concerts with digital fan avatars. Here’s a glimpse at work Wave did with violinist Lindsey Stirling.

Maveron Partner David Wu said Wave is in position to create a new category of companies.

“We expect to see rapid advancement in the online capabilities of digital concerts from low budget streams to truly spectacular, culture defining events,” he wrote in a blog post. “Wave has the opportunity to become the gold standard by which all online live concert experiences are compared.”

Wu told GeekWire that Maveron decided to invest before the global pandemic hit, though he noted that COVID-19 is “accelerating the far future into the new future quicker as a result of the music industry and mass gatherings slowing to a halt.”

Wave plans to use the funding to roll out new in-stream experiences and expand into Japan, China, and other countries. The company has put on more than 50 events, with some hosting up to 400,000 people at a time.

The startup is led by CEO and co-founder Adam Arrigo, a music tech veteran and former sound designer, game designer, and product leader who launched Wave with Aaron Lemke. Total funding to date is $40 million. Other backers include NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Avex, Superfly Ventures, Convivialite Ventures, Raised in Space, RRE Ventures, Upfront Ventures, The Venture Reality Fund, GFR Fund, and GC Tracker Fund, Superfly co-founder Rick Farman, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.

“I want to work with today’s most forward-thinking leaders in music and technology,” Braun said in a statement. “The future of the industry depends on it. Adam and his team at Wave are bridging these two very important industries to create transformative experiences for the next generation of concert-goers, with a refreshingly artist-first approach.”

Maveron, which has additional offices in San Francisco, invests in consumer startups and raised $180 million for its seventh fund last year. The firm announced this week it is hiring an investment associate and opening up its recruiting process for the first time “to cast a wide net and make sure we encourage diverse, underrepresented and non-traditional candidates to apply.”

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