UnitedMasters, a music distribution app for independent musicians, has raised $50 million in a round led by venture firm Andreessen Horowitz at a $550 million valuation, including the new investment. The New York–based startup will use the cash to further its international expansion into regions like Latin America and also pay for acquisitions, said CEO and founder Steve Stoute.
The four-year-old company is part of a wave of music startups capitalizing on the popularity of TikTok and other short-video features, such as Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. The shared videos, which often feature music, have allowed musicians to find audiences without the help of record companies, which typically own the rights to their music.
In exchange for a fee, UnitedMasters lets artists retain full ownership of their recordings while offering additional services like brand partnership opportunities and analytics tools to track fan activity.