The Deals: Avid Technology Acquired for $1.4B; Questlove & Black Thought Take the North Road

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An affiliate of private equity firm STG completed its acquisition of Avid Technology in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.4 billion. The acquisition, previously announced on Aug. 9, was approved by Avid stockholders on Nov. 2. Under the terms of the deal, Avid stockholders will receive $27.05 per share. Avid common stock ceased trading prior to the opening of trading on Nov. 7 and will no longer be listed on the Nasdaq. Avid will operate as a privately held company and remain headquartered in Burlington, Mass. “By becoming a private company, we believe Avid will be able to achieve the speed of innovation, scale and performance required for us to continue leading the industry forward,” said Jeff Rosica, Avid’s CEO/president, in a statement. “Combined with their significant operational and financial resources, STG brings deep investment experience in the technology sector that will accelerate the achievement of Avid’s strategic vision, building on the momentum of our successful ongoing transformation achieved over the past several years.”


Global content studio The North Road Company is partnering with Two One Five Entertainment — a company co-founded by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots — after acquiring a significant stake in the company. The deal establishes creative coordination between the two companies, with North Road planning to finance future Two One Five film, TV and other creative projects to scale the company. “Although we’ve had success thus far, finding an investor and strategic partner like North Road will have an immediate impact on our business, as their superior production capabilities will help us significantly increase our output,” said Questlove in a statement. “Additionally, the capital they are committing provides us the flexibility to independently fund creative ideas, grow our executive team and truly scale the business.”

The Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center announced a partnership with The Offspring to commemorate the 30th anniversary of both the Ducks and Honda Center as well as the band’s breakthrough album, Smash. The collaboration will encompass several crossovers during the Ducks’ 30th anniversary season and beyond, including “Come Out and Play Night with The Offspring” on Feb. 9, 2024. The night will include appearances from the band — which hails from Orange County — along with limited edition and co-branded merchandise. Fans will also receive exclusive perks and rewards during Friday night games at Honda Center throughout the Ducks’ 30th anniversary season. Additionally, the band and the Ducks have teamed up to create Puck Punks: The Offspring Powerplay Hits, a limited-edition vinyl set that will go on sale in the Ducks Team Store on Feb. 9, with a number of copies signed by members of The Offspring and Ducks players to be made available. All proceeds raised will benefit the Anaheim Ducks Foundation.


Universal Music Group India and leading Indian talent management company REPRESENT struck a strategic partnership that will give the REPRESENT roster access to Universal Music Group’s global footprint across distribution, publishing, brands and more to help boost REPRESENT artists’ growth and reach worldwide. The companies will collaborate on artist development and fan engagement, among other areas. REPRESENT artists who will be distributed and supported under the partnership include Anuv Jain, MC Stan, Zaeden, Lost Stories, Yashraj, Hanita Bhambri, Akanksha Bhandari, Kamakshi Khanna, Saahel, Savera, Kayan, OAFF and Jai Dhir.

Icelandic-Chinese artist, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Laufey has extended her deal with label partner AWAL following the successful release of her album Bewitched, which debuted at No. 23 on the Billboard 200 in September. Laufey is nominated for best traditional pop vocal album at next year’s Grammys and is in the middle of a sold-out North American tour.


GoldState Music, a new company launched last year by Charles Goldstuck that was formed to create a diversified portfolio of music copyrights and sound recordings, announced a “significant” investment and a new partnership with funds managed by Flexpoint Ford Asset Opportunities. The investment will help accelerate GoldState’s acquisition of music intellectual property assets, including full catalogs, influential copyrights, master recordings and publishing rights. As part of the deal, GoldState will source new catalog acquisitions and manage the licensing, synchronization and administration for the existing and acquired copyrights. According to a press release, in its first year of operation, GoldState acquired music rights from several artists and songwriters “spanning multiple genres, geographies, and asset types.”

The Daouda Leonard-founded music tech studio CreateSafe raised a $4.6 million seed funding round to launch TRINITI, a generative artificial intelligence music platform designed to make it easier for artists and rights holders to license and monetize their data in generative AI models while offering a platform to manage consent, credit and compensation. TRINITI was previously utilized by Grimes (Leonard’s management client) to distribute works using a cloned version of her voice to all major streaming services; according to a press release, more than 1,000 songs have been created since the project’s launch. TRINITI includes personalized AI tools with an attribution engine that can take the input of voice, sound, writing and imagery to communicate an artist’s musical and artistic vision. The funding round was led by cryptocurrency and blockchain tech investment firm Polychain Capital, with additional backing from Crush Ventures, Anthony Saleh, Paris Hilton (11:11 Media), MoonPay, Chaac Ventures, Unified Music Group and Dan Weisman (vp at Bernstein Private Wealth Management).


10K Projects struck a joint venture with Loaf Boyz Ventures, the record label of rapper Moneybagg Yo. The first release under the deal was YTB Fatt’s first mixtape, Who Is Fatt, which dropped in August. Other projects set for release under the deal include a Loaf Boyz compilation album and new music from Memphis-based rapper Kevo Money. Moneybagg Yo’s solo work will continue to be released through Yo Gotti’s CMG label. This marks the first deal for 10K since it became a standalone label within Warner Music Group.

Virgin Music Group signed a global agreement with Latin independent labels Machin and Equinoccio Records. Founded by Mexican singer, songwriter and producer Pepe Aguilar, both labels have a focus on the Regional Mexican genre. Machin Records is home to Angela Aguilar, Leonardo Aguilar and Irany & David, while Equinoccio is home to Pepe Aguilar.


Online design platform Canva launched a popular music library that will give users to access 60-second clips of commercially released songs for personal use in videos, social media posts and more through partnerships with Warner Music Group (including Warner Chappell Music and Warner Recorded Music), Merlin and more than a dozen other labels and publishers in deals announced earlier this year. Available songs include works by artists including Michael Buble, Vance Joy, Kenya Grace and Curtis Mayfield, all of whom will earn royalties when clips of their songs are used in Canva designs. The newly expanded music library is available to Canva Pro and Education subscribers, with access to small enterprises using Canva for Teams and Nonprofit users to follow, in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Music finance firm Sound Royalties announced a new “working relationship” with entertainment banker David Innes, according to a press release. Under the agreement, Innes’ new venture, On the Money Entertainment Advisory and Consulting, will support Sound Royalties “by amplifying its networking reach among music creatives and expanding its new business pipeline,” the release adds.


Spatial web technology company Cosmic Wire partnered with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to create innovative experiences for CAA clients using spatial and immersive technology. The companies will additionally work together to innovate sponsorship opportunities for corporate brands in virtual environments.

Music rights and metadata management software platform Orfium partnered with Japanese anime music company Bandai Namco Music Live. Under the deal, Orfium will manage, optimize and monetize Bandai Namco’s repertoire using its AI-based rights management software. Bandai Namco Music Live represents more than 3,000 creators and is behind such anime titles as the Love Live! series, Violet Evergarden, One-Punch Man and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.


SoundCloud announced a partnership with A&R executive Randall “Sickamore” Medford, who partnered with SoundCloud on IIIXL Studio, a new Brooklyn-based enterprise that will be dedicated to signing and developing New York artists for SoundCloud’s artist development program. The first IIIXL artist-in-residence is Liim. Through the collaboration, Sickamore will connect talent with SoundCloud’s artist partnerships division, which will offer white-glove creative and marketing resources to chosen artists and their teams. A monthly New York hip-hop showcase is also forthcoming.

Also at SoundCloud, the streaming platform partnered with sleep, meditation and relaxation app Calm to introduce new mental health and wellness benefits for artists. Under the deal, SoundCloud Next and Next Pro artists will have access to exclusive offers for Calm through SoundCloud’s existing member benefits program, including free trials and 50% off Calm Premium.


Bonsai, a platform that helps recording artists engage with and monetize their superfans, announced integrations with Discord, YouTube and Instagram allowing fans to directly interact with their favorite artists. Bonsai’s core feature lets artists invite their fans to participate in “asynch AMAs,” through which fans use Bonsai to ask artists questions. Artists can then record audio responses for their fans, which are then paired with visual generative art to form a “bonsai” that gets delivered to fans via text, email and — with the new deals — Discord, Instagram and YouTube.

We Are Giant — a new platform that helps artists amplify their direct-to-fan relationships by hosting licensed listening parties for new music and unreleased demos, exclusive livestreams, interactive chat rooms with the musicians and more — formally announced its launch while announcing an $8 million funding round from investment management platform Sterling Partners. We Are Giant is led by founder/CEO Andy Apple, who previously served as an investor at VC firms Sound Ventures and Wavemaker Partners in addition to a tenure at JPMorgan. Also on the leadership team is Dan McComas (previously at Reddit), who serves as vp of products & community.

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