New York-based music AI startup, Hook, has successfully secured $3 million in a seed funding round, spearheaded by Point72 Ventures and Waverley Capital, co-founded by the former Warner Music Group CEO, Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures. The investment also saw participation from notable entities like Three Six Zero and Japanese entertainment giant Avex.
Innovating Music Expression on Social Media
Hook defines itself as a music technology platform that is revolutionizing music’s presence on social media. Employing artificial intelligence, the company enables users to remix and recreate their favorite songs effortlessly. Founded and led by Gaurav Sharma, former COO of the Indian music streaming platform JioSaavn, Hook boasts a seasoned team. Simmi Singh, Chief Product Officer, previously contributed to consumer and creator products at Spotify and JioSaavn. Manav Choksi, the CFO, brings extensive experience in helping startups secure over $250 million from renowned venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz.
The platform has plans to launch a closed beta later this year, with a focus on offering AI-powered music effects, allowing users to legally and easily remix their songs. Moreover, Hook aims to collaborate with artists and record labels to develop new technologies that will create additional revenue streams for the music industry.
Enabling Creative Expression with AI
Hook’s website provides a glimpse of its technology, showcasing a text-to-music generator. Users can input specific prompts, generating sounds that they can subsequently mix. Founder and CEO Gaurav Sharma emphasizes the importance of their approach: “Fan-created remixes on social media are helping drive music discovery, re-discovery, and virality — but the way it’s happening doesn’t support rights holders.” He further added, “Hook solves this problem by leveraging AI to let social media users express themselves creatively with music, while rewarding artists and rights holders at the same time.”
Supporting Innovation in the Music Industry
Ishan Sinha, Principal at Point72 Ventures, commented on the unique position of the music industry to harness cutting-edge technology like generative AI. He stressed the importance of safeguarding the interests of artists, producers, and record labels, underlining Hook’s potential to merge innovation with industry priorities.
Edgar Bronfman Jr., Co-Founder, Chairman, and General Partner of Waverley Capital, highlighted Hook’s potential to empower music fans, artists, and rights holders, offering a new avenue for revenue generation.
The Music Industry’s Embrace of AI
Hook’s attraction for investors aligns with the music industry’s growing interest in AI. According to Daouda Leonard, manager of Grimes and founder of AI development studio CreateSafe, generative AI is set to “revolutionize the music business,” offering artists a means to explore their creativity with technological assistance. Recently, the Independent Music Publishers International Forum published a set of “ethical principles” for AI developers, reflecting the ongoing discussions surrounding AI’s role in the music industry.