Music legend Neil Young is now a crowdfunding legend too. He has taken one of the most successful rewards based crowdfunding campaigns ever and turned it into an equity crowdfunding hit. Pono Music publicly opened the funding round on August 1st. The initial raise was targeted at $2.5 million but that number was crushed and the funding took just 7 days to raise $6 million. Their Kickstarter campaign took 35 days to hit a similar amount.
Pono Music and the Pono Player is a new music player and ecosystem that has been designed to create a life-like listening experience. Most music we listen to today is on our smartphones and iPods that uses a very popular form of music compression to deliver digital music. What Pono is doing is using a lossless codec that delivers ultra high resolution music files with 30 times more sound data than typical MP3 files. The music is playable on the Pono Music player and integrates with a forthcoming music library that claims the backing of many major music labels and over 2 million different songs.
In light of the solid response for the offering – an investment that is only open to “accredited investors”, campaign organizers have decided to extend the campaign until September 30th, 2014. This equity crowdfunding round has already raised $7,148,700 of a now updated $4 million goal. Investors are purchasing shares in an SPV allowing the company to deal with a single shareholding entity but, was we understand, all shareholders receive the same rights. The new shareholders are apparently joining some big names in the music industry as well.
As part of the extension Pono Music is incorporating special benefits or “perks” for shareholders. This has become a commonplace occurrence for equity crowdfunding rounds that are consumer facing. In fact one of the largest equity crowdfunding rounds ever by Scottish brewery BrewDogs – has turned it into an art form with their equity for punks approach. Pono Music is offering such perks as a signed copy of Neil Youngs forthcoming book or a PonoPlayer accompanied with a signed certificate by the recording star. At the top level there is even a cool concert access package. Interested investors much register on the Crowdfunder site for details – and if they want to invest must confirm they are considered an Accredited Investor as defined by the SEC.
Crowdfunder is also organizing investor calls if you are interested in more information. The young company has expressed much confidence in their vision and their product in the past. With obvious consumer interest – it will be interesting to see where this on closes as the end of September.
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