Zach Katz and Shara Senderoff both came out of the traditional music industry. Naturally, their current business, Raised in Space Enterprises (RISE), is the complete opposite.
Founded in 2019 with help from music mega-manager Scooter Braun and fintech company Ripple, RISE’s mission is to discover, invest in, and guide transformational tech startups in music. The company claims it has the firepower to make investments ranging from $500,000 to $5 million apiece.
RISE doesn’t place bets, as such — it “leans in” to companies that can solve pain points of the music industry. An example is data-management platform Audigent, in which RISE led a $6.7 million investment round last November. Audigent’s proprietary tech uses audience verification and precision targeting to help record labels and artists lower their marketing spend while boosting the performance of their campaigns.
“The future of the music industry is often discussed theoretically, as if an inevitable collision in time and space will suddenly generate new platforms and technology,” says Senderoff, an entrepreneur who also has a hand in music management. “This business is simply too intricate and nuanced for that to happen on its own.” RISE, she says, aligns music’s game changers with “tangible weapons to pave new ground.”
Katz and Senderoff say RISE wants to add new lanes to the music industry’s “three-lane highway” (music, tickets, and merch). The partners say the firm is currently building “the ultimate music offering for the world of video games,” in addition to incubating startups — a venture that will get commercial music to billions of gamers. It also recently joined a $30 million investment in Los Angeles-based virtual-concert startup Wave, which has already hosted shows by the Weeknd and John Legend, and mushroomed in popularity during quarantine.
The duo see Covid-19 as an inflection point for music. “By exposing our weaknesses, it has forced us to greatly expand our view on what we traditionally saw as our assets, pushed creators to show up much more consistently, and [helped us] understand our fans with much deeper granularity,” says Katz, who co-founded Beluga Heights Records and was previously the U.S. head of BMG. “In other words, it’s pushed the industry to live and work with a fighting spirit.”