Innovation Birmingham Campus-based Soshi Games has secured £285,000 via the SyndicateRoom equity crowd-funding platform, taking the total investment in the business to £1.4 million since it was established in 2010.
SyndicateRoom’s blended model enabled the crowd investment to take place, alongside Soshi’s existing investors; Midven and private investors.
Soshi Games is the creator of Music Festivals Game, which enables players to build and manage their own music festival, and is the only game of its kind which integrates ‘real’ music. Over 800,000 players have installed the game on Facebook, with thousands of new installs being gained every day. The game helps artists to get discovered and provides new revenue streams for music rights holders; providing artist management, labels, merchandisers and media partners with a vehicle to monetise their social media fan bases.
Soshi also has games designed specifically for the mobile and tablet market, such as a quiz based game, entitled ‘Clue The Music’. Five per cent of people playing Clue The Music are purchasing music from Apple’s iTunes store as a result of playing the game.
Artists featured in Soshi’s games include Roger Sanchez, the boy band Lawson, and heavy metal groups Bullet For My Valentine and Bring Me The Horizon. Soshi has also featured Kerrang Radio, Field Candy Tents and the Isle of Wight festival.
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham said: “This is the first significant crowd-fund investment secured by a tech start-up based at the Innovation Birmingham Campus, however, I hope this will prove a route to funding for many more over the course of this year. For Soshi to have secured £1.4million of investment is a testament to the strength of their concept. It is also very rewarding that the company has rapidly grown from a start-up in our Entrepreneurs for the Future Centre to a team of 11 people and this latest investment will enable further expansion.”
Cliff Dennett, CEO of Soshi Games said: “We’re gamifying the music industry. I envisage a world where the whole idea of an album cover, a CD insert, and the static imagery you still see online being used to promote albums today, being transformed to a much more interactive, engaging experience. Albums will evolve with their player bases over time, with new micro games launched that provide an interactive medium for gamers who love their music to uncover a more enhanced experience.
“There is such a close connection between games, hand-held devices and music consumption and we’ve brought together the best of these to create the Soshi Games business model. Our games enable popular acts to engage with their fan bases and earn money at the same time, but our aim is actually to launch a brand new artist globally through one of our games.”
Soshi is developing games that incentivise popular music acts to promote them, not just for financial gain, but also as a way to actively engage with their fan bases. The concept is breaking new ground and capturing the attention and imagination of the global music industry. Players of Music Festivals Game typically play the game for over 30 minutes a day. The player profile is very diverse in age and 63 per cent are female and already very global.
Florence Wilkinson, Commercial Director at SyndicateRoom said: “Soshi Games definitely had the X Factor for our crowd, and we’re delighted to be part of the Soshi story. With the music industry seeing growth in live performances, digital streaming and merchandise, partnering this with the burgeoning mobile gaming industry is surely a match made in heaven. We were really excited to offer this opportunity to our crowd, allowing them to invest alongside Soshi’s existing funders, including highly-regarded venture capital firm Midven.”
Soshi Games comprises a team of 11, all dedicated to the development and promotion of game-based music services. The start-up company successfully graduated from Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) business incubation centre. The centre provides bespoke mentoring and business planning to achieve investor readiness, as well as free telephone usage, super-fast broadband and office space for six months; a package which has a monetary value of £10,000. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, e4f is unique to Birmingham and is specifically designed to harness and support the city’s burgeoning tech community.
Soshi was recently featured in the ‘Develop 100’ list of the top 100 games studios in the UK.
To be enrolled into Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future centre, entrepreneurs must apply online. For more information on how to apply, please visit www.e4f.co.uk