Israeli startup Artlist, a provider of high-quality, royalty-free licensed music, stock video clips, and sound effects for digital creative industries, announced on Monday that it has raised $48 million in a fresh financing round led by leading global investment firm KKR.
US venture capital firm Elephant Partners, an existing investor who led a previously unannounced investment in the company in 2018, also participated in the round.
The funds will be used to rapidly expand the company’s digital stock offerings to meet demand by a growing number of YouTubers and other content creators, the company said.
Founded in 2016 in Kibbutz Afikim, Artlist builds and maintains a catalog of creative digital assets including stock music and sound effects that creative industry producers can use on a subscription basis in videos, games, and music without worrying about copyrights or other legal issues.
Artlist also owns the website Artgrid, where content creators can access a large catalog of stock footage (video clips).
The company quickly evolved as demand grew for stock music and video that could be used in creative content uploaded to YouTube and other digital platforms. Over the past year, YouTubers have become the company’s fastest-growing segment, with Artlist and Artgrid now being used by over one million content creators, as well as creatives from some of the world’s top brands, the company indicated.
Music and footage licensing is often a complicated and expensive process, which slows content creators down and can get in the way of producing creative content. By offering direct and unlimited access to its entire catalog of music, sound effects, and footage for a single annual subscription fee, Artlist lets content creators focus on their creativity and production.
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Artlist said it has already licensed more than 20 million digital assets over the past four years and will quickly add tens of thousands of new and original stock digital assets to its platforms.
The company recently added Mike Weissman, president of music service company SoundCloud, as a board director.
“The investment allows us to accelerate growth and product development, and quickly add new content that is aimed to be the top tier of digital stock in the world,” said Ira Belsky, Artlist co-CEO and co-founder. The company will also look to expand into new adjacent categories both organically and via acquisitions. “We want to cater to all content creators with every type of digital asset they might need.”
KKR’s investment in Artlist comes primarily from its Next Generation Technology Growth Fund II.
“The growth of digital content creation – and the evolving way in which it is consumed – has generated a tremendous amount of opportunities for creators, but the process of licensing digital assets remains a significant challenge for small and large creators alike. What impresses us most about Artlist is the management team’s dedication to helping creators focus on what they do best and removing friction from the process of discovering and accessing content,” Patrick Devine, a member of KKR’s Next Generation Technology Growth investment team, said.