Artist-Driven Mental Wellness Audio Platform Mindset Raises $ 8.7 Million From Scooter Braun, Others – TechCrunch
Mindset, a platform showcasing collections of personal stories from record artists, today announced that it has raised $ 8.7 million in seed funding.
As co-founders of the K-pop focused podcast production company DIVING Studios, brothers Brian Nam, Eric Nam and Eddie Nam noticed that the studio’s top performing content came from podcast episodes where the stars discuss how they cope with challenges in their personal lives. So the Nam brothers came up with the idea of Mentality, an offshoot of DIVE Studios.
“We found this to be a unique selling point that people really wanted more of – so we started thinking about ways to really double down on that aspect,” said CEO Brian Nam. “How do you get more of this valuable content to Gen Z and younger Millennials?” We decided that there wasn’t really the right kind of platform for this type of storytelling, so we decided to develop our own mobile platform to share these stories uniquely in an audio format.
In its current format, Mindset offers four audio collections from artists such as Jae, Tablo, BM and the co-founder of Mindset. Eric Nam, who happens to be a K-pop star himself. Each collection consists of ten episodes of approximately ten to twenty minutes – the introductory episode is free, but to access the rest of an individual artist’s collection, users must pay $ 24.99. The app also offers free boosters, which are five-minute clips of bedtime stories and motivational mantras.
“Until now, the main source of income, especially for musicians, has been tours, music streams, then maybe a few sponsorship deals, but we’re able to unlock this fourth, which monetizes your stories.” Nam said. “The price is similar to how they might price a ticket or how they would sell goods.”
Mindset is not meant to be a therapy app. “We are not licensed therapists, we are not trying to act the way we are,” Nam said. Rather, it’s a way for artists to share more intimate experiences with their fans to show that behind their music, it’s also people.
Mindset launched in an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) version in February. Nam declined to share active user or income figures, but said the app was successful enough that by May it raised venture capital funds. The $ 8.7 million round is led by Union Square Ventures with strategic entrants like record director Scooter Braun (of TQ Ventures), which recently made headlines on the controversy of the masters Taylor Swift. Other backers include Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, Opendoor co-founder Eric Wu, and more.
“Scooter Braun was a strategic investor,” Nam told TechCrunch.
Braun has also worked with artists like Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Demi Lovato.
“It really opened up a lot of doors for us to get into the Hollywood and Western space, where we traditionally came from the K-pop space,” Nam added.
Mindset dedicates its seed funding to content creation, hiring and product development. The app is currently available on iOS and Android, but it will officially launch on September 14. After that, Mindset will release another audio collection of an artist or actor every two weeks. Nam declined to share who these artists will be.