Slush was a busy time for a lot of people, walking around trying to meet and greet as many people as possible, promoting businesses, and standing in long queues for coffee or food. One of the things that kept the team at InstrumentChamp busy was the launch of their crowdfunding campaign which just last Friday reached its funding target.
Swedish music game company InstrumentChamp was founded in 2011 by the Willner Brothers, based in Gothenburg and Oslo. They aim to make learning to play music more fun and easier by developing games that encourage practice and learning. Using sound recognition technology and simple representations of sheet music the games intend to turn any song into an interactive learning experience. Players will be scored based on how many correct notes they play on guitar and piano, or keep the beat on the drums, and they expect those scores to motivate you when competing against friends. The private beta currently provides support for the sax and trumpet as well as guitars, piano and drums, and runs on PC and MAC.
"I think all of us have experienced how hard it is to learn to play music. We want to transform the music learning experience with digital music games that you play with real musical instruments like guitar, piano and drums" said Lars Willner, co-founder of InstrumentChamp. "Using the power of new technology, gaming and music we want to inspire and empower the next generation to play music - not just listen to it. We are now releasing the game in private beta to a limited number of users, and will in the first quarter of 2014 come with more releases - including a social gaming platform for music."
FundedByMe is the equity crowdfunding platform that InstrumentChamp used to raise their finances and successfully hit their target of SEK250000 (about $40000). Up to this point the company has mainly been self-financed and with this new injection of funds they intend to continue working on their games and get ready to go to market.
FundedByMe calls itself the fastest growing platform of its kind in Europe and points to an international network of about 30,000 registered investors, although they also do reward-based crowdfunding as well for those teams that don’t yet want to sell equity. They’re quite young themselves having only been founded in Sweden in April 2011 but already have offices throughout the Nordics and in Spain, Germany and Italy.
"It is highly unusual that campaigns successfully close before going into Open Round, where normally the most hard work is done." said Daniel Daboczy, CEO of FundedByMe.
Well it has been for InstrumentChamp and that speaks well for them. They’re entering a field that is not without its competitors, from big names on the decline like RockBand and GuitarHero, newer products like Rocksmith, or other startups in the field like JoyTunes and of course Ovelin. This shouldn’t be a discouragement however, it shows that there is a hunger amongst learners to combine their desire to play an instrument with their experience and enjoyment of playing games, a hunger that InstrumentChamp are positioning themselves to feed.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock // Guitar