There’s a little more money in Long Island City today. Songza, which offers up playlists to suit your every mood, just announced a $4.7 million round of funding from a small mob of investors, including Lerer Ventures, Amazon.com, Scooter Braun, William Morris Endeavor, Deep Fork Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, Troy Carter, Gary Vaynerchuk, and others.
Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian stood at the front of a large room at the Hunters Point Plaza Penthouse in Long Island City, and looked out over the rows of tables set up for various startups based in the borough that, let’s be honest, doesn’t always have the best rep in the city.
“The New York tech community is just starting. There’s so much awesome stuff happening in all of New York City,” he said. “The only issue I’ve got is there’s a lot of it going on right around here.” He pointed to a map of Manhattan.
Mix Tape Market
Imagine the Internet is a vast hotel. (It probably looks a lot like the impossible hotel in The Shining, with hallways to nowhere and windows where they shouldn’t be.) You’re a guest in this Internet Hotel for the evening; you’ve just arrived from New York on the red-eye and you’re exhausted. You need something to pep you up – perhaps some music. But you’re too tired, disoriented and indecisive to pick, so you head for the concierge. “Excuse me, you look like you know your way around. Can you please just tell me what I should listen to right now?”
Songza, the Long Island City-based streaming music startup featured at Facebook’s f8 developer conference in September, has been building a massive database of playlists across genres and for a range of occasions. The site has more than 100,000 searchable playlists, from “Aggressive Dubstep” to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” submitted by msuic experts and users. But if you’re not sure if you want to hear something funky or something fresh, Songza’s new Music Concierge feature can do that for you.
As a child, Betabeat used to lovingly curate the A and B sides of a 60 minutes cassette tape for each of our gift-giving relatives on Christmas. Since then, the mix tape has evolved into an element of the socially networked cloud, where we drag and drop mixes for friends on Spotify with a single click.
But there are plenty of occasions when Betabeat is pressed for time and hoping to find the suite of songs that will add just the right feeling to the gathering. So we were intrigued by Songza, a Long Island City startup which opens to the public tonight with a mobile app, web site, and the promise of better playlist discovery and development.