GarageBand.com announced today it has secured its first round of institutional investment, a $2.5 million dollar equity financing from an all-star roster of strategic investors including Vinod Khosla and Bob Pittman. The company is preparing to launch “iLike,” a new social music discovery service targeted at the iPod and MySpace generation, and is currently soliciting trial users at http://www.iLike.com
Khosla Ventures and partner David Weiden led the round, with additional new investors including: Bob Pittman, co-founder of MTV and former head of AOL; Herbert Allen III of Allen & Company; and other individuals from the music, internet, and media industries. Vinod Khosla and Bob Pittman will join the company’s Advisory Board alongside such luminaries as Talking Head Jerry Harrison, legendary producer Sir George Martin, and David Goldberg, head of Yahoo! Music.
“We love to back great entrepreneurs,” said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, in the press release, “and we believe this is a great team to redefine how consumers discover music.” Mr. Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and former general partner at Kleiner Perkins, has previously backed such successes as Juniper Networks, Nexgen, Cerent, Excite, Netscape, AOL, Amazon, and Google.
“We couldn’t have dreamt of a better roster of investors,” said Ali Partovi, CEO of GarageBand.com, in the press release. “Vinod Khosla and Bob Pittman are inspirational figures in our industry. Our new investors bring terrific experience to the table and I look forward to working with and learning from each of them.”
The new iLike service will expand the company’s existing services by including mainstream artists, incorporating links among friends, and offering tools targeted at the iPod and MySpace generation. These new services — to be offered at http://www.iLike.com — will include a companion app for iTunes that allows consumers to organize their digital music libraries and discover new artists based on their listening habits. iLike will help consumers discover music based on what they and their friends like.