Based in London and LA, The Rattle has announced the first UK-based recipients of venture funding as part of its innovative Venture Label initiative.
Investing in the community of artists, inventors, hackers, and innovators, The Rattle’s Venture Label program prioritises original, human creation that changes the way people think and behave over ‘traction' and streaming numbers.
The first cohort of venture artists and startups, focused on music, technology and entertainment include Too Many T’s, Our Man in the Field, and Feed.
Investors have backed The Rattle’s new initiative with a total of $1.5m, including investments from notable EU venture funds like LeanSquare.
Each founder on the Venture Label is provided a dedicated team of venture builders to help develop their company. Many of these Venture Builders come from non-traditional backgrounds like business model hackers, community managers, web developers and startup makers.
Additionally, founders receive a stipend for a year, allowing them to focus on their project full-time. The goal in that year is to turn their creative project into a credible, backable startup.
Key to The Rattle’s venture method is to identify what part of a creative’s activity constitutes developing a brand, and what constitutes developing a product.
“The reality is, the ‘product’ in the traditional recorded music industry is not the music itself,” says The Rattle founder and CEO Chris Howard.
“It’s the right to reproduce or perform music to an audience. That product is rarely wholly owned by the artists themselves. However, in the early-stages of an artist’s growth, their art is often the foundation of their brand. Their brand is therefore the key to forming a relationship with their audience instead of the product their fans buy.
“So, at the Venture Label, we explore and experiment with new product concepts that leverage the unique brand each artist, hacker, or inventor has made. This is what makes our method unique. We don’t rely on selling music, in other words.”
Venture label teams were chosen by a wide variety of people. Instead of using streaming numbers of traction to identify the best opportunities, they employed the same methodology as both yCombiunator and MIT to identify talent.
Each project was supported by references from their peers, evidence from their fans or users that they meaningfully create behaviour change, and a vision for a company that could become disruptive in nature. The team sought original inventions and industry game changers with strong potential to shake up culture, industry, creativity and creation as we know it.
This cohort is the first in what The Rattle hopes becomes a tradition of challenging the status quo.
“In some ways, this is an act of protest, of disruption,” said Howard. “We’re seeing what doesn’t work in creating viable careers in the entertainment and technology industries and taking those negative aspects down by making them irrelevant.”
“We wanted to try something new,” said Ross Standaloft of Too Many T’s.
“We’ve homed in on what they are doing at The Rattle. We joined the Venture Label because we are with them on their mission and we think it’s really cool and really interesting. It was a no-brainer. There is less pressure because of the fact that we don’t have to earn our base salaries from touring. This is a turning point for us.”
Feed, founded by Nick Edwards and Joshua Jacobson, is on a mission to help more people around the world turn their hobby, idea or passion into a business.
The Rattle Venture Label provided them an opportunity to develop their product in the presence of exactly the people they are aiming to help - something every startup wishes they could do, but is rarely given the opportunity.
“As digital collaboration enables partnerships between people working across multiple disciplines, communities like The Rattle are going to become ever more essential. By being part of the community, we want to play a part in making the projects of others more likely to succeed as businesses,” said Joshua Jacobson of Feed.
“For me, it’s about showing people examples of how it can be done in a different way. Often you look at someone like Kanye West and think to get to that level you have to be signed to a label,” added Feed’s Nick Edwards.
“We want to show just how much individuals and small teams can achieve by themselves, when they have the right tools and resources to help them along the way.”
You look at someone like Kanye West and think to get to that level you have to be signed to a label.
Feed’s Nick Edwards