Artlist, an industry-leading provider of a full suite of high-quality, royalty-free licensed music, stock video clips, and sound effects for digital creative industries, today announced it has raised $48M in a financing round led by KKR. Existing investor Elephant Partners, who led a previously unannounced investment in 2018, also joined in the round. The funds will be used to rapidly expand the company’s digital stock offerings to meet demand by a growing number of YouTubers and other content creators.
Artlist builds and maintains a catalogue of creative digital assets including stock music and sound effects that creative industry producers can use on a subscription basis in videos, games and music without worrying about copyrights or other legal issues. Artlist also owns the website Artgrid, where content creators can access a large catalogue of stock footage (video clips). Music and footage licensing is often a complicated and expensive process, which slows content creators down and can get in the way of producing creative content. By offering direct and unlimited access to its entire catalogue of music, sound effects, and footage for a single annual subscription fee, Artlist lets content creators focus on their creativity and production.
With the new investment, Artlist is poised to serve the growing number of digital content creators churning out an increasing amount of content. It is estimated that the average person will spend 100 minutes every day watching online videos in 2021, an increase of about 20% compared to daily viewing minutes in 2019.
Artlist, which has already licensed more than 20 million digital assets over the past 4 years, will quickly add tens of thousands of new and original stock digital assets to its platforms. “The investment allows us to accelerate growth and product development, and quickly add new content that is aimed to be the top tier of digital stock in the world,” said Ira Belsky, Artlist co-CEO and co-founder. The company will also look to expand into new adjacent categories both organically and via acquisitions. “We want to cater to all content creators with every type of digital asset they might need.”
KKR’s investment in Artlist comes primarily from its Next Generation Technology Growth Fund II. “We are excited to welcome KKR as a new investor and look forward to working alongside their team who bring decades of experience building leading global companies. KKR’s tech and media expertise, networks, and relevant prior investments such as Fotolia and BMG Rights Management provide added value,” said Artlist co-founder and co-CEO Itzik Elbaz.
Patrick Devine, a member of KKR’s Next Generation Technology Growth investment team, said, “The growth of digital content creation – and the evolving way in which it is consumed – has generated a tremendous amount of opportunities for creators, but the process of licensing digital assets remains a significant challenge for small and large creators alike. What impresses us most about Artlist is the management team’s dedication to helping creators focus on what they do best and removing friction from the process of discovering and accessing content.”
Launched and bootstrapped in 2016 by professional filmmakers and musicians, Israel-based Artlist initially started building a catalogue of original music, footage and sound effects for the professional filmmaking industry. But the company quickly evolved as demand grew for stock music and video that could be used in creative content uploaded to YouTube and other digital platforms. Over the past year, YouTubers have become the company’s fastest-growing segment, with Artlist and Artgrid now being used by over 1 million content creators, as well as creatives from some of the world’s top brands. The company also recently added Mike Weissman, President of music service company SoundCloud, as a board director.
Artlist enables sustainable income for thousands of professional contributors who produce original music, original videos, and sound effects downloaded by over 1 million users, and who otherwise would not be able to monetize their work at any meaningful scale. Top contributors to Artlist earn hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Media kit, including approved company images and video, can be found HERE.
Artlist and Artgrid are platforms that offer streamlined, high-quality licensing for filmmakers and video creators. Members with active subscriptions have full and unlimited access to the site’s entire music, SFX and footage catalogues. The music, SFX and footage are created by a growing community of independent musicians, producers, sound designers, filmmakers and cinematographers from around the world. The catalogues are updated constantly with new music, SFX and footage, making a subscription to Artlist and Artgrid continuously and consistently valuable.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.
About Elephant Partners
Elephant Partners is a venture capital firm focused on the enterprise software, consumer internet and mobile markets. The firm was founded in 2015 with offices in Boston and New York.