October 4th, 2022 (New York, NY) — Highnote (www.highnote.fm), a collaboration platform for audio creators, today announced it has raised $1.7M in pre-seed funding and is available for the first time to the public. Drawing on their deep music industry and product development experience at companies like Splice, Squarespace, and Songtrust, these music tech alumni founded Highnote with an aim to build the best creative workflow tool for people collaborating on songs, podcasts, ads, or any audio project.
Until now, audio creators have largely relied on tools like email, SMS, and generic file sharing services not optimized for audio content. While Frame.IO (Acquired by Adobe $1B, 2020) has addressed this problem for video, and Figma (Acquired by Adobe $20B, 2022) has addressed it for product design workflows, audio-based creators have not had a tool that addresses their unique needs.
Highnote’s commenting interaction
“The ability to efficiently exchange ideas, annotations, and reactions around a digital asset is foundational to any form of collaboration on the web.” says Jordan Bradley, Highnote Co-Founder & CEO. “There are many players – writers, producers, managers, and more – involved in the process of creating that last song you downloaded, podcast you streamed, ad you heard, or audiobook you’ve got on your list”.
Like Figma and Frame, Highnote centralizes a creator’s collaborators, comments, conversations, and audio project files all in one place. Collaborators have the ability to record voice notes directly over a track, create polls to gather a group’s opinions, and share timestamped reactions on any audio file.
Highnote has closed a pre-seed funding round of $1.7M from prominent seed-stage investors Afore Capital (Modern Health), Brooklyn Bridge Ventures (Petal, Shortcut), Character Capital (Ex-Google Ventures), and Precursor Ventures (Superhuman), as well as a number of angels from YouTube, Auth0, and Splice. Today they boast a team of 6 featuring alumni from across industries including Shortcut (formerly Clubhouse), Reverb.com, Waves Audio, and more.
Highnote started as a side-project for CEO and Co-Founder Jordan Bradley after a band break-up in 2018. He aimed to build an essential tool for creators, like himself, to gather better feedback on songs in progress beyond the standard “love it” and “hate it” responses.
“The idea was simple—a musician could upload a track and send their friends a private link. As the track played, the musician could prompt the listener with questions at a particular time. The listener could also chime in with their own comments via text or voice. Finally, the musician could receive feedback submissions with the ability to view and compare all the listeners’ individual responses in one place.” says Jordan.
Fast-forward to 2022 and music libraries, production studios, and record labels are among Highnote’s early adopters. “We’ve been using Highnote for the A/B functionality to compare masters. [It] really streamlines our process.” says Yarden, A&R Coordinator at Epitaph Records.
“Highnote makes client collaborations easy and seamless. The biggest issue I use to face with clients is not getting a time stamp for the section that they are referring to in their notes. With Highnote that’s a problem of the pass. I will give up a client before give up Highnote” says Barry Rashawn who has worked with the likes of Juice WRLD, Kodak Black, and Meek Mill.