The spirit of failed music startup Crowdmix lives on.
One of the startup’s former executives, Rob Wells, is seemingly about to launch a new AI-powered social music service at the South by Southwest conference in spring.
The new service appears to be funded by Crowdmix backer and billionaire property tycoon Nick Candy, according to Business Insider’s analysis of US and UK company filings.
The news comes days after Crowdmix’s former CEO, Ian Roberts, accused Candy of “acting like a gangster” and “blackmail” in his dealings with the startup.
Wells is a music industry high flyer who was Crowdmix’s chief commercial officer and Americas CEO, before the startup collapsed spectacularly into administration.
He is now listed on LinkedIn as the CEO of Music Media Inc which, according to California state filings, was registered last August to the same address as Crowdmix’s US offices in Los Angeles. There are also several former Crowdmix employees now listed as working for Music Media Inc on LinkedIn.
One employee of Music Media Inc, Nick Robertson, is listed as its social media and content management strategist. Last month, Robertson posted an update on LinkedIn stating that the project he had been working on was due to launch at South by Southwest. A source told Business Insider that Wells had posted a similar message privately on his own LinkedIn page.
Shona Ghosh/Business Insider
Wells gave an interview in December to Musically where he made clear his interest in AI, machine learning, and what the technology could do for music discovery.
He said: “Machine-learning and AI and suggestive listening is far more interesting to me than what the blockchain or AR/VR can do. It’s not quite as sexy and maybe not as investable, but its impact on the music industry could be huge.”
Music Media Inc is described in the interview as a “content/technology incubator,” suggesting there could be multiple projects to come.
Another Music Media Inc employee, Chase Ohlson, posted his CV online, detailing marketing work for an “AI-driven social media management app.”
Companies House filings suggest Music Media Inc is controlled by Nick Candy, the billionaire property tycoon who invested in and acquired the bulk of Crowdmix in August.
At the time Crowdmix was acquired by 52 Grosvenor Street Limited, a company owned by Nick Candy’s Candy Ventures SARL. According to Companies House filings from September, 52 Grosvenor Street Limited was subsequently renamed Music Media Limited.
A later filing stated: “On 10 August 2016, the company commenced trading on and now acts as an investor in music based technology.”
Rob Wells did not immediately respond to a request for comment.