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Arpeggi Labs banks a16z funding to build web3 music software


The quest to define what exactly a web3 use case looks like hasn’t always been easy but has allowed plenty of founders to get creative in building out products designed to tap the ethos of decentralization and the business opportunities of the creator economy.

Arpeggi Labs, a new crypto startup focused on using blockchains to make music creation more collaborative, has scored $5.1 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto arm alongside a host of artists including names like Steve Aoki, 3LAU and Wyclef Jean.

The team’s goal is to tap the blockchain to build a music creation suite that bakes in an open source ethos, allowing producers to sample a wide variety of songs and sounds while the platform ensures that credit always flows back to original creators appropriately.

Founders Evan Dhillon, Kyle Dhillon and James Pastan believe that this setup will encourage a new type of “remix culture” to permeate through the music industry, allowing TikTok-like creative repurposing of IP that will lift all of the creators that contributed to a viral hit. This is a functionality that may not innately require the blockchain, but Arpeggi’s founders say the technology simply makes it easier.

“In music, we’ve seen people immediately resist anything in web3 because they see it as a scam,” co-founder Pastan tells TechCrunch. “We’ve abstracted as much of the crypto as we can … and we’ve always leaned away from the speculative element.”

To make this dream happen, Arpeggi is aiming to go beyond developing a protocol and build an entire in-browser digital audio workstation that allows producers to mix blockchain-minted beats while integrating with the wider arena of Web 2.0 and web3 music platforms.

The free platform not only serves as a hub for creation but consumption, an opportunity that may align blockchain incentives but could also present a daunting challenge for finding a cohesive audience.

While the company hasn’t landed on whether they’re looking to issue a token for the platform down the road, the founders say they are mainly focused on enticing music professionals who haven’t already aligned themselves with the web3 mantra but are excited about the idea of the industry doubling down on open source.

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Any sounds that you hear are sounds that you should create with,” co-founder Kyle Dhillon tells TechCrunch.

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