Distribution and payments platform Stem has received a $20 million round of funding.
The funding round was led by venture capitalist firm QED Investors, as well as Block Inc, a global technology and financial services company. QED Investors and Block are joined by previous investors Slow Ventures and Quality Control.
With this investment, Frank Rotman of QED now joins the board, which includes Michael Vaughn, former COO of Venmo, and Aditi Maliwal, partner at Upfront Ventures.
Over the last six years, Stem has distributed music on behalf of artists including Brent Faiyaz, Melii, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J, as well as record labels such as Big Loud. It has distributed $200 million to 40,000 people.
Stem’s artist-centric tools enable the indie community to manage their finances and run their business. The offering has evolved to include a platform of financial tools enabling artists and labels to track their revenues, access capital, manage splits with collaborators, and automate payments with clarity.
This new round of investment will help fund the next phase of Stem’s growth with a range of tools to simplify royalty accounting for artists and labels, who may or may not distribute via Stem.
“It’s asinine that labels are still sending paper statements to artists a couple times each year,” said Milana Lewis, CEO of Stem. “We believe that labels should have a dashboard that tells them how much they’ve invested and shows their artists and collaborators when they can expect to get paid. We’ve brought this experience to life for our clients, and now we want to give everyone the experience they deserve.”
“QED invests in companies driving the future of finance, and Stem is leading that charge in the music industry,” said Frank Rotman, founding partner at QED. “Milana’s vision for the future of payments in the music business promises to disrupt the status quo and empower artists, labels, and creators of all sizes. We’re thrilled to have Stem join our portfolio of fintech innovators and to offer our years of expertise supporting the growth of fintech businesses.”
“We’ve seen firsthand the kind of creativity that small businesses are able to unlock when we remove the barriers to financial tools that let them accept payments, raise capital, and grow,” added Jesse Dorogusker at Block Inc. “We’re excited to support Stem’s mission to deliver that kind of power into the hands of artists.”