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NFT company Serenade just raised USD $4.2 million. What’s it going to spend it on?

Trailblazers is an MBW interview series that spotlights music entrepreneurs who are making waves in the local market. They have the potential to become the power players of tomorrow’s global business. This time around, we’ll talk to Max Shand, the founder and CEO of the up-and-coming music NFT marketplace, Serenade. Trailblazers are supported by Believe.


Recently, the number of superstar investors in music startups is increasing.

From The Weeknd to Puff Daddy, Snoop Dogg and more, superstars are investing in new platforms they believe in every week.

However, Hollywood stars are also participating in this act.

Take, for example, Hugh Jackman, who recently participated in a US $ 4.2 million funding round for the music NFT platform Serenade.

Serenade was run and founded by tech entrepreneur (and Jackman’s fellow Australian) Max Shand. He states that he aims to build his company into a world-leading “genre-agnostic music NFT marketplace.”

Serenade runs on a Layer 2 Ethereum blockchain called Polygon. This allows the company to create NFTs at an “environmentally friendly” level (that is, with much less energy than a normal NFT run).

Serenade has offices in the UK and Sydney and has worked with artists such as The Kooks, Lady Hawk and Super Furry Animals, but Shand (pictured) has recently been Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 list.

Here, as part of MBW’s Trailblazers series, Sydney-based Shand explains why he believes the future of music NFTs is bright and why his company believes it will be at the center of the revolution …


Serenade recently raised A $ 6 million (US $ 4.2 million) from supporters such as Hugh Jackman and executives such as Warner Music Group. Why was it the right time to raise now?

That $ 6 million goes directly into our technology to continually improve the user experience of our fans and enable them to work on better creative projects with artists.

In addition to this, we are investing in teams to expand our marketing, product and partnership resources with the United Kingdom, Australia and soon the United States.


What is the company’s ultimate ambition?

Our ultimate mission is to bring artists closer to their biggest fans, thereby creating new sources of income and imaginative creative outcomes.


Several statistics have recently been published on the decline in demand / value of certain types of NFTs. For example, according to BLOOMBERG REPORTS, monthly global sales of nFTs (of all types) are expected to fall below US $ 1 billion for the first time since last summer. Meanwhile, sales of OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, have fallen by 75% since May. Is it all worrisome to you or is it a natural fix for the market?

When buying NFTs as an investment, NFTs are vulnerable to exactly the same value cycle as traditional investment instruments.

However, if you buy an NFT as a collection that represents your passion and support for artists and creators, the value remains fixed because the owner did not collect the NFT and make a quick profit.


Draw us: What will the music industry look like to artists and fans 10 years from now?

Ten years from now, the role of direct revenue to fans in the artist’s overall revenue structure will become more recognized. All sorts of great tools are available to support this.

Streaming remains central to the artist’s offering in terms of passive viewer involvement and discovery. However, products that go through both traditional and innovative ways to monetize the artist’s brand and fan base (without rights) dominate the revenue structure.


What are the strengths and weaknesses of starting a company from Oz?

The founders of Australia continue to be angry to prove themselves on the international stage, given that we are far away. The advantage is to look at the major markets and select the market based on strategic value.

But hey, Australia would be joking that it’s easy to set up a double-sided music marketplace! Our early morning is the only time to arrive in the United States and our late night is the best time to chat in the UK, leaving daytime in Australia.

Australia is sometimes seen as a great test site for new innovations, but the music industry is driven by the urge to access larger overseas markets faster than the ability to battle test new products.


Tell us something that surprises people in the industry about your company and its business.

Despite our ambition to become a genre-agnostic music NFT marketplace, our personal love for everything indie continues to bring us back to work together. [independent and independent label-signed] Artist.

This may take us off course, but building a platform around new ways of engaging fans and servicing superfans is guided by this devoted understanding and empathy for indie sensibilities. Means that it is the light and accelerator of the company.


You are an up-and-coming entrepreneur. Thinking back, what advice would you give to someone thinking about starting your own venture, given what you’ve been talking about?

Embark on the ridiculous adventure of starting your own business only if you are motivated by the passion and true enthusiasm for solving a particular problem. If these are your motives, there aren’t enough setbacks to really disarm you, and every day is a constant joy.

“If a new venture has the opportunity to drive you into a great relationship or conversation, nothing can stop you.”

Even better, if you love the people you work with and you think you’ll have the opportunity to meet, get the money. After all, life is all about the people you spend with. New ventures have the opportunity to drive you into great relationships and conversations. That way, there is nothing to stop you.


The question we ask everyone: What will you change about the modern music business, and why?

A controversial opinion from a man who has been dating and living exclusively with legal counsel: forcing business leaders to pay only legal costs if they can change one thing about the modern music business When they need to do, they will be forced to educate their rights.

Music industry professionals and businesses aren’t currently generating enough money, and raising money like a lawyer in unnecessary situations is constantly causing pain to my spine.Music business around the world

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