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Derek 'MixedByAli' Ali, Founder/CEO of EngineEars. © EngineEars

EngineEars Announces First Round of Funding With Investor List Including Kendrick Lamar, Roddy Ricch, Mustard, Dj Khaled, Russ, and More

The round is being led by Los Angeles venture capital firm Slauson & Co.

Published on May 06, 2021

EngineEars, a Los Angeles-based music-tech startup setting out to reinvent how music creatives run their businesses, has announced today the completion of their $1 Million Pre-Seed round. EngineEars Founder/CEO and multi-platinum, three-time Grammy Award-winning audio engineer Derek ‘MixedByAli’ Ali has announced the Alpha launch of the platform, stating, “For too long I’ve witnessed and felt the lack of organization and structure for the creatives at the forefront of presenting the art to the public. Audio engineers exist behind the curtain and are put to the side too often as the independent music industry grows. This is why we raised our pre-seed, to hire the best talent and develop the best platform for music creatives.”

The Investment is being led by Los Angeles based venture capital firm, Slauson & Co., with participation from some of the biggest names in music, such as: Kendrick Lamar, Roddy Ricch, Russ, Mustard, DJ Khaled, YG, Ella Mai, Bas, Smino, Masego, Cardogotwings, Young Guru, Kenny Beats, Ibrahim Hamad of Dreamville, La Mar Taylor of XO, Meko Yohannes of 10Summers, and indie-record label EQT.

As a first step, EngineEars has emerged as a new technology platform that supports the full spectrum of an engineer’s business, from acquiring clients through facilitating a mix and handling finances. This includes scheduling of mixing time and streamlining of the mixing process, handling pricing negotiation, storing and archiving project files, and most importantly connecting engineers and independent artists. Engineers are able to save time so they can focus on their primary objective: making great music.

Over the course of more than two years, EngineEars hit the road for its hands-on Seeing Sounds Workshops. During the workshops they joined forces with dozens of major multi-platinum, Grammy Award®-winning front-line artists (musicians, producers, engineers) including Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Terrance Martin, Sounwave, Noah “40” Shebib, and more to educate and understand audio engineers. As a result, they recognized the difficult problems faced by music industry professionals in managing relationships with collaborators, tracking payments and running project workflows.

Founder/CEO Ali, who has worked with countless leading recording artists, most notably Pulitzer Prize recipient Kendrick Lamar. Lamar added, “Quality of sound is still important in music. Ali has always been a progressive thinker. EngineEars will transcend the culture.”

Ali is joined at EngineEars by his senior management leadership team:

  • Dan Maynard, Co-Founder/COO: Co-founder of the Canadian Apparel Company, Noble Gentlemen Trading, he has over 15 years of building and scaling brands. He was North American director for Ksubi, and more recently founder of Bishops LTD, a brand & business development company for various clients in music, including; IDK, Smino, Isaiah Rashad, TDE, Kerwin Frost, YG, and many more.
  • Luke Sorenson, CTO: Engineering Lead of EngineEars, Senior Software Engineer at Google, working on Videoconferencing. He previously founded companies Mixer Match and Downtyme (iOS and Android social apps).
  • Jacob Shamberger, Go-To Market Advisor: Marketing and Growth Strategy for EngineEars, previously an early employee running Growth at Vise, a hyper-growth fintech startup backed by Sequoia Capital.

Ali and his associates created EngineEars to devise a multi-faceted platform whose overall mission would be to improve the lives of music professionals behind the curtains – engineers, producers, and songwriters.

At the same time, the new company will develop tools to make audio engineers more efficient at the intricacies of building and running their businesses. The business management side of the recording industry is on track to near $24 billion by 2025, encompassing four major areas: project management software and services; financial accounting software services; software-defined file management storage tools (cloud storage); and appointment scheduling and booking software.

Newsdesk Editor