Can This Startup Destroy Pandora?
Online music streaming startup Senzari, brainchild of serial entrepreneur Bill Hajjar, closed a new round of venture funding that netted $1 million. Participants in the funding are reported to be Dave McClure’s 500 Startups and other investors based out of Miami and Silicon Valley.
This follows up on the previous financing of $2 million obtained from angel investors in Boston and Silicon Valley and a private venture capital group in Southern California.
Senzari’s service offers a number of distinguishing features compared to arch rival Pandora (NYSE:P). A key difference is the library – Senzari’s access to 11 million songs is way ahead of Pandora’s catalog of 900,000 songs.
Unlike Pandora, Senzari is not afraid to step outside U.S. markets, and its vast collection of music gives it an edge over on-demand rivals like Spotify or MOG.
Senzari has broken the mould on how to procure its music, and taps music distributors such as SoundExchange and SESAC instead of dealing with record labels.
Senzari has also found an innovative way to weave social networking into its service by using Facebook’s Open Graph to create music recommendations that appeal to both the user and friends on Facebook.
Location-based services are given a new meaning in its “Around Me” feature, again leveraging Facebook’s check-in data to serve up music relevant to the current environment — for example, a bar or coffee shop.
“We are excited about joining the 500 family as it allows us to leverage its impressive mentor network and global relationships,” says Senzari COO Demian Bellumio.