Songclip raises $11M to bring more licensed music to social media

Anthony Ha
·2 min read

The team behind Songclip thinks that social media could use more music.

Yes, music is a big part of the experience on a handful of apps like TikTok and Triller, but Songclip co-founder and COO John vanSuchtelen told me, "That is not the end of how music is going to be a feature, that is a beginning."

He added, "In the next nine to 12 months ... just like you never have a phone without a camera, you're not going to have an app without music clips as a feature when you make videos."

That's what vanSuchtelen and his co-founder and CEO Andy Blacker are hoping to enable with Songclip, which announced today that it has raised $11 million in new funding.

The startup has created an API that, when integrated with other apps (current integrations include photo- and video-editing app PicsArt) allows users to search for and share music. VanSuchtelen said that like Giphy, Songclip plans to popularize a new media format — the short audio clip — and make it accessible across a wide range of services.

"If I were to say, 'I’m going to send you a four-minute song,' it’s just not going to work that way, that's not how we communicate anymore," vanSuchtelen said. "How do you take the music and turn it into the bite that you want to use in a social context?"

To do this, Blacker said Songclip doesn't just license music, it also does its own tagging and clipping, while offering tools for music labels to protect their intellectual property and providing data on how people are interacting with the music. And unlike Giphy, Songclip isn't looking to build a consumer brand.

All of this involves a combination of human editors and technology. Blacker said the human element is key to understanding the nuances of songs and their association, like the fact that Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" isn't really about bridges or water, or that Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine" is a happy song even though it doesn't have the word "happy" in it.

Songclip has now raised a total of $23 million. The new round was led by Gregg Smith of Evolution VC Partners. The Kraft Group, Michael Rubin, Raised in Space, Gaingels and ​Forefront Venture Partners​ also participated, as did industry executives Jason Flom and Steve Greenberg and the band AJR.