|Angel, 1/2002 |
|Series A, 12/2004 |
Walden Venture Capital
|Series C, 3/2006 |
Court Square Ventures
Walden Venture Capital
SNOCAP was a digital rights and content management startup founded in 2002 by Shawn Fanning(creator of the original Napster file-sharing service), Jordan Mendelson, and Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway.
Fanning, Mendelson and Conway founded SNOCAP in the days immediately following Napster’s demise. Many of the company’s employees, including its COO, Ali Aydar, were veterans of the original Napster team.
SNOCAP’s initial focus was on developing technology content owners (in particular artists and labels) could use to register their content and set business rules controlling where and how that content is available on the web. SNOCAP eventually secured deals with all four major labels (Universal Music Group, EMI, Warner Music Group, and SonyBMG Music Entertainment) to register their content in SNOCAP’s digital registry.
SNOCAP’s ultimate goal was to license this technology to file-sharing services, enabling a new wave of “legal P2P” services that used SNOCAP’s technology to track and filter music sharing within a network, blocking registered content that labels & artists didn’t want shared but allowing sharing of anything else. While two file-sharing services, Mashboxx and Grokster, signed up to use SNOCAP’s technology, their SNOCAP-powered services never launched.
In late 2006, SNOCAP and MySpace announced that they were partnering to give independent artists and labels a way to sell music on MySpace through SNOCAPâ€™s MyStore widgets. Eventually, over 110,000 artists signed up to sell their music through MyStore widgets. These early experiments were a precursor to MySpaceâ€™s efforts to sell downloads directly to consumers through its MySpace Music venture.
In March 2007, SNOCAP announced it was partnering with the social media site imeem to track music being played on the site and share ad revenue with artists and labels, utilizing SNOCAPâ€™s content fingerprinting and digital registry technology. The goal was to provide a way for consumers to upload and share music with their friends, for free, and to do so in a way where label and artists can both make money and have greater control over where and how their music was available. imeem rolled out this new offering in June 2007.
In April 2008, imeem acquired SNOCAP, confirming rumors first reported on TechCrunch two months earlier. That acquisition reunited several members of the original Napster team, including SNOCAP’s then COO, Ali Aydar, who is now imeemâ€™s COO. Aydar was a key early advisor to imeem and served on its board of directors from 2003-2007.
imeem continues to operate the SNOCAP digital registry, and uses the technology acquired from SNOCAP to power imeemâ€™s ad-supported streaming music service.
SNOCAP was backed by Ron Conway, Morgenthaler Ventures, WaldenVC, and Court Square Ventures. In total, the company raised over $25 million in funding from WaldenVC, Morgenthaler Ventures, and Court Square Ventures.
|Launch Date||August 15, 2007|