Symphonic Distribution has a new, shiny downtown Tampa headquarters above the Tampa Theatre, but the 11-year-old Bay area digital music distribution provider recently found another new toy to play with thanks to Ballast Point Ventures (BPV) which has invested $4 million dollars into the company.
The influx of capital will allow Symphonic — which helps handfuls of Bay area artists plus an international roster of labels and musicians with cost-effective digital distribution tools — to add to its staff, increase marketing efforts and enhance the capabilities of its products.
“Symphonic plans to use funds to boost the reach of our brand globally, improve our technology infrastructure, hire personnel in key areas and potentially acquire more catalogue and rights of catalogues to boost to our already growing catalogue of over 1M tracks,” CEO Jorge Brea told CL in an email.
“All in all, the funds will help us get better quicker so that we can compete effectively in our changing landscape.”
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The investment comes after Symphonic — which says it has already paid millions of dollars to labels and artists — spent the last 10 years growing organically with minor investments that allowed it to acquire anti-piracy firm toppletrack.com and several European distributors, and even open offices in Brooklyn and Madrid all while taking time to speak to students at schools like Full Sail, Berklee and St. Pete College.
Brea recently told Billboard that Symphonic has chosen to take this step with BPV — a Tampa-based later stage venture capital and growth equity firm founded in 2002 — after being reluctant to pursue investment interests from companies that didn’t quite buy into the Symphonic vision.
“Over the years, we've seen many companies receive substantial capital without a focus or mindset on being profitable and to us, that never felt right," he said. "We wanted to take this step when we felt we could build faster and provide a strong return to a group that believed in us and more importantly, record labels and artists that we represent.”
BPV principal Robert Faber — who will join the Symphonic board of directors — says his company is “excited to partner with Symphonic Distribution and to work with Jorge and his dedicated team to continue building a leading technology company in the Tampa Bay region.”
“We’ve been fortunate to go to many conferences all over the world to help elevate the profile of the business but equally important to me, the profile of the Tampa Bay area,” Brea told CL.
“We are proud to say that we’re a Music and Technology company based here and working with independent and established artists because it’s a break from the norm since many of our competitors have their main headquarters in California, New York, and throughout Europe.”