Miami startup Musicasa is raising pre-seed funding to build out its marketplace platform
In 2019, Musicasa founder Beatriz Ayala-Muñiz began connecting music lovers with their favorite artists and musicians for small, private concerts, at first as a passion project. During the pandemic, when large live events were nixed and deeply missed, she brought the small concerts into living rooms and backyards, even virtual experiences. Turns out, the intimate concerts have been a hit, even with larger live events now starting to return. A startup was born.
Musicasa is a community-powered marketplace fostering live connections amongst emerging musicians and music lovers through intimate home concerts. “We match home hosts with artists where together, they offer intimate, private and/or public concert experiences for up to 40 paying customers.” said Ayala-Muñiz. Those connections drive smarter market exposure and deliver better monetization economics.
Ayala-Muñiz, raised in Puerto Rico, moved to Miami from Palo Alto, Calif., in the summer of 2020 and is building the company here. Earlier this year, Musicasa produced the closing concert for Miami Tech Week.
“Musicasa’s mission is to build connections through art and culture. The pandemic underscored the need for experiential, community-driven events, while artists find it challenging to connect with fans. Musicasa bridges both: Bringing people together and helping artists build an engaged fanbase,” explained Francesca de Quesada Covey, TheVentureCity Partner who oversees its First Ticket North America/Canada program. “We can’t wait for Bea and her team to scale from Miami across the globe.”
TheVentureCity is also an investor in Musicasa and is leading Musicasa’s pre-seed round. Musicasa is aiming to raise $450K, with $370K committed, in order to build out the platform, Ayala said. Other funders from the Miami tech community include Dr. B. Sarah Haynes and Wynwood Ventures led by Carlos Garcia. Haynes and Laura Maydon, also from #MiamiTech, are advisors, Ayala said.
We spoke to Ayala-Muñiz, who is Musicasa’s CEO, about her inspiration behind the startup and what’s ahead for the Miami startup.
What inspired you to start Musicasa?
Musicasa is the sum of a number of life events and circumstances that overtook my life with the start of Hurricane María in 2017. In the midst of feeling disconnected, lonely, discouraged, and confused about my life and the world, I relied on the three pillars that helped me feel like I belonged: connecting with people, my love for music, and sharing my Latina & Caribbean roots and culture. It was meant to be a passion project to help me build a community in a city where I knew few people and I chose music as the method of connection given its natural ability to remove discomfort and barriers.
Our first year of operations we focused on building the side of the marketplace that focused on musicians. Now that people are more willing to participate in social gatherings and prefer doing it in-home, we will focus on building the host side with a tunnel focus on our top two markets: San Juan and Miami.
Tell us about Musicasa and what can people expect from the company and the experience?
Musicasa is building the next phase of artist and fan relationships by facilitating real-time connections through live performances. Every second, an artist is uploading a song to Spotify, that’s more than 60K songs a day. With millions of artists wanting to make it and algorithms deciding who gets discovered, as an artist how do you break through the noise, and as a fan how do you find what is hidden?
Today, we are building a live music marketplace aiming to connect 91% of the music industry musicians with music lovers via intimate home concerts for up to 40 people. By making live performances accessible to both musicians and fans we help them create spaces that contribute towards giving musicians smarter exposure, access to a scalable network, and better monetization economics all through the power of community.
As founder, how did you gather everything you needed to create Musicasa? How challenging was it and what did you learn from the experience?
My network and community was pivotal in the creation of Musicasa and remains true today as we experience organic growth and adoption. They keep me grounded, honest, and remind me to stay curious. Musicasa was born four months before the world went into lockdown. This pushed us to pivot early on, stay on our feet, and explore all possibilities.
The main challenge was myself; getting out of my own way and removing limiting beliefs on what Musicasa could or should be based on what would be expected. Those early days I was terrified of being seen as overly ambitious, crazy, and was fixated on being understood. I learned that everything that comes from a place of love and pure intention to add value to life itself, finds its way attracting the right users, the right customers, the right teammates, and the right partners and investors. No need to force it when life will show you the way. The ultimate practice of patience and surrendering to the process.
Tell us more about your team and how and why do you feel they enhance Musicasa. What do they bring to the table?
The Musicasa team is, like we say in Puerto Rico, “anillo al dedo” (ring to the finger). We found each other serendipitously, we all share a deep love for music, and our bond is driven by a sense of urgency to create cultural experiences where human connection generates exposure and opens access to those who need it most. Yet, we are very different from each other. Each brings a set of strengths that compensate for each other’s blind spots. They bring financial depth, product expertise, data first mentality, human-driven insights, community building creative solutions to complex ideas, and operational thinking.
For example, Ricardo “Alco” Alcocer, co-founder and CTO, is our data musician brain. He is a computer scientist, magician, and musician bringing decades of knowledge on how to best monetize platforms and communities.
Currently we are a team of 5, including a front-end developer, a head of growth and a Head of Product (strategy and execution).
What can people expect from Musicasa in the future?
Musicasa’s vision is to create the most loved cultural and entertainment platform in the world. We aim to do this by sparking joyful human connection through the arts and creating a new method of connection where artists and fans can interact 1:1 and create their communities together. Long gone is the idea that fans and in this case, musicians, come from two different worlds, the two cannot exist without each other so removing the barriers of connection will drive faster discoverability,
Musicasa has successfully made 157 concerts happen since November 2019. This year our revenue per concert is 3x bigger versus 2020 and attendance per concert 2x bigger than 2020. We are raising closing a pre-seed round of $450K, with $370K committed, to focus on building the marketplace MVP as well as invest in sales, marketing and operations.
Over the next year the focus will be on building a marketplace platform with a strong product focus on driving data-driven human connections amongst our users and customers. In the next six months, you can expect to see the first version of our mobile-first web app facilitating user (host and musicians) on-boarding, enabling faster and smarter matching capabilities amongst users and customers and accelerating the number of concerts performed on a monthly basis.
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