Epidemic Sound brings together Sweden's Music, TV, and Internet Entrepreneurs for new type of Music Library
Despite starting up in 2009 and having names like legendary music producer Peer Åström and Wrapp CEO Hjalmar Winbladh as cofounders, Stockholm-based Epidemic Sound has managed to keep a low profile within the startup scene. Their product, which could come across as an unremarkable stock music site, has managed to build a library of 25,000 tracks within 170 genres, and is now the source of 70-80% of all music used on television in Northern Europe. Now that they feel they've gotten the traditional background music consumers locked down, they're bringing in the massive long-tail of independent filmmakers and startup video creators who need some jams in the background of their videos.
Wrapp has now launched in the United States, partnering their launch with retailers including the Gap, H&M, Rovio, and Sephora. We've been covering Wrapp for some time now, interviewing COO Carl Fritjofsson on our podcast and hosting CEO Hjalmar Winbladh at our ArcticEvening panel discussion in Stockholm. In both cases they stressed the importance of controlling the United States market, especially against the competition of the German Samwer Brothers' Dropgifts.
At the ArcticEvening event I asked Winbladh if their biggest barrier to entry in the U.S. was selling the concept to large retailers. He said brands can easily see Wrapp's value, but what was more important was being sure to get the right retailers on board for launch. Wrapp is opening in the U.S. with 10 brands, with another 15 merchants joining in a matter of weeks.
A stray copycat out there may be reason for some concern, however Rocket Internet has created a name and huge business for itself by cranking out copies at high speed, giving Groupon and other major players hell in Germany and the whole of Europe. Wrapp's press release also mentions they will soon be opening up in France, the Netherlands and the U.S., although the whole release only really serves the purpose of calling out Samwer brothers and say, "I'm coming to your house with these people, and I'm going to get whatever I want out of the fridge."
Another disruptive service is launching in Sweden today. Wrapp, a new social gifting service, has just received $5.5 Million Series A funding led by Atomico, the international venture capital firm formed by Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype, Kazaa and other companies. The company plans on updating the gift card model to the current era by tying their service to smartphones and social networks. The service is now out of its test phase in Sweden and will be launching in the US and UK in the first quarter next year, with the rest of Europe soon to follow.
The tickets for our next week's ArcticEvening are now available for booking. Please find the sign-up form for registering to the event below. Note that if you are unable to make it to the event, please don't sign up. We have a limited amount of space available and would like to get everyone on board. Likewise, if you need to cancel for any reason, please inform us at events(at)arcticstartup.com so that we can reallocate the ticket.
Expect a house filled with like-minded entrepreneurial people, and lots of networking. We will start off with a brief presentation from Jaycut and continue with an interesting panel discussion. See the Stockholm event page for details. If you haven’t been to ArcticEvenings before, have a look at videos from our previous events.
So sign up below and come spice up our wonderful mix of people!
Our second ArcticEvening this year in Stockholm will be held on 18th of November 2009.
The theme of the evening will be Mobile smartphone solutions and trends - how to strategically build business around the different native application platforms and mobile web.
Discussion around delivering content and servics to Android, iPhone, Symbian, and different app stores is stirring up the mobile industry, and there are lots of different views on how to approach the smartphone market. In our evening's panel discussion, we have representation from three firms: one that provides their service using mobile web browser and SMS solution (Traveas), another that uses a native application to complement otherwise "app-less" service (Rebtel), and third a cloud computing firm making it possible to access your documents and virtual computer on any device over-the-air (Cloudo). Each of the firm will surely bring interesting viewpoints into the discussion.