Roqbot Receives $1.2M From Google Ventures, Detroit Venture, Others

Roqbot said it received seed funding of $1.2 million in a deal led by Google Ventures and Detroit Venture Partners and joined by Accelerator Ventures, T5 Capital and Penny Black. The company is developing a mobile jukebox app.

PRESS RELEASE

Mobile Jukebox App Lets Users Control Music at Bars, Restaurants, and Stores

DETROIT, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Roqbot, a startup that is changing the way music is experienced in bars, restaurants, and retail stores with its new mobile jukebox app, today announced that it closed a seed round of $1.2 million led by Google Ventures and Detroit Venture Partners, with participation from Accelerator Ventures, T5 Capital and Penny Black. Roqbot, named Best Music Tech Company in the 2011 South By Southwest Accelerator, is quickly replacing the iconic jukebox and other background music services with an exciting social experience for customers across the country.

Over the last few months, Roqbot has been working with businesses and brands in major U.S. cities such as San Francisco, NYC, LA, and Austin, and has recently collaborated with Miller Lite, Gap, Samsung, and rock band Motley Crue to bring the mobile jukebox experience to larger audiences. With over one million songs streamed and over two times the average check-ins of Foursquare, Roqbot is rapidly disrupting outdated background music.

Patrons at Roqbot locations use the iPhone or Android music app to check in, discover what’s playing, request songs, vote on the queue, and see the venue’s specials. Ultimately, customers crowd-source the music experience at that location. Roqbot also delivers better music for business by providing venues with full control over what can be requested, continuous streaming unlike traditional jukeboxes, and full customization to match the venue’s vibe.

Roqbot is also announcing the new Roqbot Mix Machine, a first for out-of-home music, which utilizes both customer and venue preferences to create a custom playlist for each business.  For consumers that don’t have a Roqbot venue in their area, the new “Jukebox Reborn” campaign lets everybody easily suggest Roqbot to their favorite local businesses via Facebook.

“With the new Roqbot Mix Machine we make it even easier for businesses to provide a music experience that will keep customers coming back.  With just a few clicks, a bar can have a playlist that dynamically adjusts to customer feedback while still letting the business owner maintain control,” said Garrett Dodge, Co-founder and CEO of Roqbot. “This way, the music engages all of a businesses’ customers, not just the person putting dollars into the jukebox.”

Traditional jukeboxes are bulky and offer a limited selection, leaving the smartphone generation without the personalized and mobile experience they expect. Roqbot is a new social music experience that lets users easily pick the songs they want to hear while out at bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, retail outlets, live events and more, right from their phones.

“The future of music in public venues will be a social and mobile experience, and we’re excited to back Roqbot as the leader in this exciting space,” said Josh Linkner, CEO & Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that is rebuilding Detroit through entrepreneurial fire by funding early stage tech companies. “We’re thrilled that Roqbot continues to expand in Silicon Valley and is also hiring in downtown Detroit to accelerate the city’s growing tech core.”

Roqbot is part of the wave of tech companies doing business in downtown Detroit. The company is currently looking to hire new employees for its office in the M@dison building, a tech hub that is home to many promising entrepreneurs. For more information, please visit www.roqbot.com.

About Roqbot

Roqbot provides streaming music for business, offering customized playlists and a social jukebox app for customers. Roqbot music is licensed for business and includes a library of more than six million songs. The company’s investors are Detroit Venture Partners and Google Ventures among others.  Advisors include current and former music industry executives. Roqbot was named Best Music Tech Company at South by Southwest 2011, and is currently working with businesses and brands in major U.S. cities. For more information, visit http://roqbot.com.

About Detroit Venture Partners

Detroit Venture Partners (www.detroitventurepartners.com) is a venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage technology companies with a strong emphasis on Detroit-based startups.  In addition to capital, the company provides hands-on coaching, mentorship, support, and resources to help drive growth and success.  The firm was founded in 2010 by Josh Linkner, Dan Gilbert and Brian Hermelin and joined in 2011 by Earvin “Magic” Johnson as its fourth partner. By backing the next generation of Detroit entrepreneurs, DVP aims to create jobs, urban density, and hope. For more on Detroit Venture Partners, visit http://detroitventurepartners.com/.

About Google Ventures

Google Ventures provides seed, venture and growth stage funding to the most innovative and promising entrepreneurs across a variety of stages. Founded in 2009, Google Ventures helps its entrepreneurs succeed by providing access to uniquely hands-on and dedicated resources such as its Design Studio, Marketing, Recruiting, and Engineering Teams, and Startup Lab.  The Google Ventures team has extensive entrepreneurial experience, deep technical knowledge and expertise in building high growth, scalable products and companies.  Among its 100+ investments are Nest, Kabam, HomeAway, SCVNGR, ngmoco, Airtime and WhaleShark Media.  Google Ventures is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. with offices inCambridge, Mass., Seattle, Wash. and New York, N.Y. For more information, please visit www.googleventures.com.
Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1ecq0)

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