Hello Music raises $4 million from KVG Partners


MUMBAI: Hello Music has received $4 million in private equity financing from KVG Partners.


Hello Music was conceived and incubated by Wilshire Media Group, a digital music product design and development firm founded by Zack Zalon and Brendon Cassidy.


Hello Music will launch with the participation of KVG. Dick Kiphart, the lead investor in KVG, principle at William Blair and Company, and The Lyric Opera Chicago president and CEO, has joined the company as chairman of the board. Initial Hello Music opportunities will come from partners AudioMicro, Getty Images, GigMaven, LyricFind, MediaNet, Next Big Sound, Slacker, Topspin, TuneCore and Yahoo! Music.


Wilshire Media Group and Hello Music managing partner Zack Zalon said, “Technology has created infinite possibilities for musicians to distribute and promote their music, but there are fewer gatekeepers to identify quality acts and actually help them connect to the opportunities that power a career. Hello Music believes you need a team of industry professionals – real people – to evaluate that music to find those artists whose careers will grow. The Hello Music collective gives talent a chance to build on successes, whether that is on Internet radio, a television commercial, an iPhone app, or by providing access to tools to better manage their career.”


KVG Partners president and CEO Chris Capps said, “KVG is interested in identifying companies that will build long-standing value. The potential of the Internet to help unsigned artists has been steadily growing since the early ‘90s, but the digital music business needed to mature enough to support the Hello Music vision. The time is now right for Hello Music – a company that combines digital music technology with the human A&R function, providing musicians with opportunities to help them find success on their own terms.”


Hello Music founders Zalon and Cassidy have were the first two employees at Farmclub.com in the late 1990s, and President and CTO, respectively, of Virgin Digital, Richard Branson’s digital entertainment platform group. While there, they launched the Internet radio service, Radio Free Virgin.  After seven years with Virgin, in 2006 they formed Wilshire Media Group, a product design and development company for digital entertainment products.