Music Traveler is a marketplace that centralises spaces with musical instruments and equipment. World-renowned investors and ambassadors include Billy Joel, Hans Zimmer, Sean Lennon, Adrien Brody, and John Malkovich, just to name a few.
Tell us about yourself?
Julia Rhee is a former classical pianist who transitioned into asset management and entrepreneurship. The founders, Julia Rhee and Aleksey Igudesman met 20+ years ago, as young musicians in the Vienna musician circle.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
We did not build our products based on just cool ideas. We created to solve our own problems, issues, and inconveniences we have faced as industry insiders.
Almost all of our core team members have been in the music industry, were/are artists, or are involved in the management side of the business and understand its century-long problems from the get-go.
In addition, we have extensively surveyed hundreds of people in the music, performing arts and creative industry and conducted research, analysis for a year before we launched our first product
The current, highly fragmented market has caused significant inefficiencies: thus the centralisation as an opportunity in a fast-growing market.
It is challenging for musicians to easily book spaces to play, practice, record, perform, etc. Venue owners/hosts and operators, especially small-medium spaces, have difficulty finding musicians to book their spaces efficiently and seamlessly.
Large venue operators and owners deal with lack of systems and staff to handle many RFPs and sort through unqualified requests that are not vetted. MusicTraveler elegantly solves this basic problem and offers a wide range of additional services and benefits (i.e. secure billing, insurance, calendar management, etc.)
What is your magic sauce?
We are an experienced, diverse, and agile team from various backgrounds in technology, architecture, corporate strategy, finance, management, investment banking with deep relations to the performing arts, creative industry where we serve.
Our team is composed of former and current artists with deep music industry backgrounds in our core with a passion for performing arts with a shared vision and mission.
Our team is here to make changes to the industry we live in – not simply make a quick buck. We believe that without in-depth knowledge and life-long commitment it will simply be harder. Especially when the company is such a startup, an infant stage with enormous obstacles.
Where do you see your company going in 5 years time?
With the two-sided marketplace business model, broader opportunities and larger market penetration exist using scalable and dynamic platforms. Our core product offers an online marketplace that provides a centralised service for buyers (artists)/sellers (venues) to transact – Search. Book. Pay.
When the active expansion plan starts, we will then simultaneously strengthen and engage various local, global partners while reorganising the market expansions, selectively studying a few cities, countries that we can feasibly enter when a stable environment for us starts regular operations post the pandemic era.
What has been your biggest setback so far?
Inefficient capital that leads to a lack of resources to fetch, break the chicken-egg cycles and the pandemic lockdown that is physically impossible for us to operate our core business.
What is the next big challenge for your business?
In addition, sluggish market entry either geographically or service available areas can disturb our golden timing to accelerate our business and become the leader of the industry which goes back to the importance, need of capital efficiency.
The never ending pandemic!
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
We are on a mission to find strategic and capital partners to bring all relevant stakeholders in creative economy, in specific to the music industry and marketplace with us to implement our vision, plans step by step.