NFT Music Company Royal Raises $55-Million Series A Funding From A16Z, Major Artists

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Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) have seen a massive adoption spike across the realms of art and video games. On-chain music platform Royal has now announced that the company has managed to raise $55 million (roughly Rs. 409.7 crore) in Series A funding led by venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z. The startup collaborates with musicians and allows users to purchase NFTs, which represent a collective ownership in works by these artists. The Chainsmokers, Nas, Logic, and Kygo are among the musicians who chose to back the project along with a16z crypto.

The project is led by Justin Blau, an EDM artist performing under the stage name 3LAU, and JD Ross, a co-founder of home-buying startup Opendoor. Royal had managed to bring in $16 million (roughly Rs. 119.18 crore) during its seed round in August led by Founders Fund and Paradigm.

Over the past couple of months, Blau ran a test project during which he distributed 333 NFTs to fans through the platform which owned 50 percent of the streaming rights to a new single titled “Worst Case.” The startup claims there have already been nearly $600,000 (roughly Rs. 4.46 crore) in secondary sales for these tokens, giving “Worst Case” an implied valuation of $6 million (roughly Rs. 44.69 crore). Crypto-forward musicians like Blau have already cashed in millions of crypto holders looking to diversify their holdings through NFTs while supporting projects that expand blockchain market opportunities.

“We believe blockchain technology has the ability to transform music ownership the same way the internet has transformed the way music is listened to,” added electronic duo The Chainsmokers in a joint statement.

While Royal's premise of letting fans fund their favourite artist and receive a portion of the royalties in return is promising. It needs to be seen if the company's ability to scale its initial success. Music copyright is complicated and has been the subject of costly lawsuits in the past, that have gone on for decades. Royal's model of cutting out middlemen and using blockchain technology to raise money directly from fans could make the royalty process less problematic, but there are pertinent questions that remain.

The biggest one is: how does Royal dictate the percentage of control owners will retain over their songs? This may prove a little difficult especially with third-party use and advertising while staying on the right side of the law.


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Redmi Note 11T 5G Specifications Teased Ahead of India Launch

Redmi Note 11T 5G India launch is a few days away. But ahead of its formal announcement, Redmi parent Xiaomi has teased the Redmi Note 11T 5G specifications. Xiaomi India Managing Director and Global Vice President Manu Kumar Jain on Monday tweeted to highlight that Redmi Note 11T 5G will be the first Redmi phone to come with a 6nm chipset. Although the exact details are yet to be announced, the chip could be the MediaTek Dimensity 810 — if we believe some recent rumours. Redmi India also announced that it conducted 5G trials for the Redmi Note 11T 5G by tying up with Reliance Jio.

Jain tweeted to emphasise on the presence of a MediaTek Dimensity SoC on the Redmi Note 11T 5G. He also claimed that the new model will be Redmi's fastest 5G phone.

The Redmi Note 11T 5G is speculated to be an Indian variant of the regular Redmi Note 11 that was launched in China last month. It is, therefore, likely that the new phone will have the MediaTek Dimensity 810 SoC that is also powering the Redmi Note 11.

Alongside Xiaomi, Amazon has started teasing the Redmi Note 11T 5G launch in India through a dedicated microsite. This indicates the availability of new Redmi phone through the online marketplace — in addition to Mi.com.

Redmi additionally announced its partnership with Jio for testing 5G connectivity on the Redmi Note 11T 5G.

“To verify the capability and performance of their upcoming device, the two companies conducted a 5G standalone lab trial, and tested the device through various scenarios, thereby ensuring enhanced 5G end-user experiences,” the company said.

The Redmi Note 11T 5G is confirmed to have seven bands including SA: n1/ n3/ n5/n8/ n28/ n40/ n78 and NSA: n1/n3/n40/n78. However, exact performance results of the phone are yet to be revealed.

Xiaomi is launching the Redmi Note 11T 5G in India on November 30.


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Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at [email protected] Please send in your leads and tips.
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