Investment will fund new locations across UK, US and Germany

  • Fundraising is supported by high-profile investors including Eric Archambeau, Bart Swanson, Gaw Capital

  • Pirate supports musicians with live music opportunities, Pirates Prodigy talent competition and festival stage curation

Pirate Studios, the fast-growing music technology company, that operates fully automated self-service 24 hour music studios, has secured a strategic investment of $20m from Talis Capital, the London-based VC.

The new funding will enable Pirate Studios to continue its rapid expansion across the UK, Germany and the US, where it has been building a community of musicians, DJs, producers and podcasters who need access to professional studios at rates they can afford. The pioneering company, which was created by musicians for musicians everywhere, has also raised money from a syndicate of high-profile investors including Eric Archambeau (Spotify investor and ex partner at Benchmark & Wellington Partners), Bart Swanson of Horizons Ventures, and partners of Gaw Capital, the $20bn Hong Kong-headquartered creative proptech fund.

The key to Pirate Studios success is the deployment of technology to revolutionise its studios. Pirate has built a platform that offers online booking, 24 hour keycode access, automated recording and live streaming as well as complete IoT control of their studios. In doing this Pirate has been able to increase hours of opening and decrease costs for musicians, offering its studios from as little as £4 per hour.

The company began in an abandoned police station in Bristol, UK, where co-founders David Borrie and Mikey Hammerton worked together with friend Fred Wyatt to build a rehearsal studio which they offered on a time-share basis to bands. As the success of this studio grew, David and Mikey saw the opportunity to develop the concept to hourly rental, self-service music studios and began working on a solution together with Matus Maar from Talis Capital who joined as fellow co-founder. Matus introduced the founders to venture capital investor Talis Capital, which has funded the expansion since inception. In three years Pirate has grown to 350 studios in 21 locations – including London, New York and Berlin.

David Borrie, co-founder and CEO of Pirate Studios, said: “When we founded Pirate Studios our dream was to create innovative spaces to support emerging talent. We want to see music thrive and help musicians get their music out to their fans, through whatever route they think is most appropriate. We are building both the physical space to create, as well as the technology to record and share, that puts power back into the hands of musicians in a period when the digitisation of music continues to radically upset the old order of this industry.”

“We are so excited about the next stage of our expansion, which has been made possible by Talis Capital’s big commitment to this project, with the potential to put musicians back at the heart of the music industry. It’s also exciting to see so many new investors come on board with Talis and to help us with the next stage of our journey.”

Matus Maar, managing partner ventures, Talis Capital and executive chairman of Pirate Studios, said: “The music industry has changed fundamentally. Distribution was previously controlled by the major record labels, preventing the majority of artists from sharing their content. Pirate Studios has unpicked that hegemony and is putting the power back in artists’ hands, unlocking a significant and largely untapped market opportunity. We greatly look forward to continuing to partner with David and the team to make this vision a reality.”

Inspired by fast-growing companies like Zipcar and Pure Gym, Pirate Studios is bringing an entirely new service to musicians including:

  • Fully automated studios that can be booked online 24 hours a day

  • HD live streaming, audio reactive lighting and on-demand video and sound recording

  • Artificial intelligence powered mixing and mastering, to balance audio recorded in their studios

  • Online content hosting for bands to store their videoed and recorded musical archive

The company is also dedicated to helping live music thrive, with a community of more than 40,000 musicians who regularly use its facilities. It supports these artists by:

  • Running national talent development programmes (Pirate Prodigy) offering chosen artists major industry support and free studio time.

  • Weekly livestreams showcasing artists from their community across their social channels

  • Gigs, tours and festival stages to provide opportunities for their community to play live

Pirate launched its first ever Pirate Prodigy competition in 2018, which attracted more than 2000 entries from young bands and singers. The winners were chosen by 20 industry experts and a public vote which attracted 50,000 votes, making it the largest UK music competition after The X Factor and The Voice. The winners – The Seamonsters, Alex Ohm, Red Rum Club and Yves – were showcased in gigs across London, Liverpool and Bristol this summer, before taking to the Pirate stages at Isle of Wight, Y Not and Truck festivals.

Following the fundraise, Eric Archambeau will join David Borrie, Matus Maar and Bart Swanson on the board of Pirate Studios.

Talis Capital has backed Pirate Studios since the concept was founded and will support the next phase of growth, during which the company will continue to expand in the UK, Germany and the US. The investment will also fund the development of a content creation platform, which gives musicians access to all their recordings and content.

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Media Contacts

About Pirate Studios Pirate Studios operates the largest network of music studios in the world, serving over 50,000 musicians globally. The studios are fully automated and available 24 hours a day for self-service music rehearsal and recording. Pirate uses internet of things-enabled equipment, including online booking, automated live streaming and artificial intelligence in sound engineering. The fast-growing company is building a community of musicians which it supports with gigs, talent competitions, festival stage curation and online promotion.

About Talis Talis Capital is a London-based venture capital firm that focuses on backing emerging technologies and early stage companies. Talis has completed over $500m worth of transactions since 2009. The VC counts some of the fastest growing tech companies in its portfolio including Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Luminance, OhMyGreen, Pirate Studios and Threads among many others.

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