London music startup ROLI has bagged $27 million (£18.6 million) in VC money to fund its development and expansion.
ROLI is known for its high-tech keyboard-esque instruments that let users press, stroke, and gesture in novel ways to create a range of sounds. (You can watch a video of it in action below.)
Founded in 2009, the company has an A-grade list of customers, including Stevie Wonder, Hans Zimmer, Professor Green, Jamie xx, and KT Tunstall.
The new funding round is led by Foundry Group — the first time it has invested outside of the US — as well as BGF Ventures, Founders Fund, along with previous investors including Balderton Capital, Index Ventures, and Universal Music Group. The round was previously reported on by The Telegraph and The Times.
This new funding round follows on from a $12.8 million (£8.8 million) Series A round in 2014.
In an press release announcing the funding round, ROLI says the cash will go towards global expansion, with its products already available in 15 countries.
“The success of the Seaboard has shown that people want musical devices that are elegant, advanced and open to all — and as easy to use as a smartphone or tablet,” CEO Roland Lamb said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with some of the world’s most experienced investors as we revolutionise how people express themselves through music. And as we continue this journey, we are looking for everyone — from coders and makers to composers and musicians — to join the ROLI team as we change the shape of music.”
Here’s a video showing off the functionality of a ROLI device:
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