The app, which offers a library of interactive sheet music, uses artificial intelligence to create digital editions of published scores.
The idea of selling digital sheet music is a well-established music-tech sector. Music Ally has been writing about these startups for more than a decade now: Tonara, Chromatik and Musicnotes were among a flurry of such firms raising funding and trumpeting milestones in 2012-13 for example.
Berlin-based Enote’s fundraising was led by Dieter von Holzbrink Ventures (DvH Ventures), the EU’s European Innovation Council (EIC Fund), and the Rudolf Fuchs Family Office.
The investment came 18 months after Enote’s app was launched on Apple’s App Store, attracting more than 70,000 musicians.
One of the newest entrants to this space is Enote, a German startup which launched its “intelligent sheet music” app 18 months ago.
Now it has raised €10m of funding in a ‘Pre-Series A’ funding round led by DvH Ventures, the EU’s European Innovation Council and the Rudolf Fuchs Family Office. The company says it is also keen for other angel investors and VC funds to chip in to a second closing of the round.
The app gives users access to a library of over 18,000 classical works, including thousands of Urtext editions from essential publishing houses like Henle, Bärenreiter, Breitkopf & Härtel, Peters and Durand.
It also offers tools that help musicians study, practice and perform. The features include smart drawing tools, automatic highlighting tools that let users color-code parts and full flexibility to transpose and reformat music via digital edition prototypes.
Commenting on the funding round, Boian Videnoff, co-founder of Enote and chief conductor of the Mannheim Philharmonic, said: “We‘re super excited to embark on the next chapter of our journey with such strong partners by our side.”
“We are excited to join the founding team in their dream of improving the lives of musicians through technology, making quality sheet music accessible and affordable to everyone, and transforming the music industry in the process.” - Peter Richarz, DvH Ventures
“Not only do they see the enormous business opportunity that lies in the still undigitalized sheet music market, but they also understand the societal and cultural importance of Enote’s mission to democratize access to sheet music and make music education more rewarding, affordable and effective for billions of digital natives around the world.”
Peter Richarz, managing partner of DvH Ventures, one of the investors in the funding round, said: “We are excited to join the founding team in their dream of improving the lives of musicians through technology, making quality sheet music accessible and affordable to everyone, and transforming the music industry in the process.”
“Their proprietary artificial intelligence is the key to a unified digital sheet music format.”
EIC Fund, meanwhile, indicated that it invested in Enote due to its combination of cultural significance and cutting edge AI methods.
“Europe has many innovative, talented startups, but too often these companies remain small or relocate elsewhere,” said Hermann Hauser, board member at the EIC Fund.
“Thanks to our investment, Enote is able to continue preserving European cultural heritage by making it more accessible and interactive”.
Enote is still inviting angel investors, venture capital funds and family offices to join the second closing of its pre-series A funding round. EIC Fund plans to match the upcoming investment with “Euro for Euro,” according to the press release.
Enote’s funding round comes amid increased investor appetite for classical music.
Apple recently launched its standalone Apple Music Classical app, nearly two years after the company acquired Netherlands-based classical music streaming service Primephonic.
The app is “designed to deliver the listening experience classical music lovers deserve,” said Apple.
Apple Music Classical could rival STAGE+, a high-res classical music streaming service unveiled by Universal Music Group-owned Deutsche Grammophon in November 2022.
Enote says that it has more than 70,000 musicians using its service, which uses optical music recognition and automated music transcription to create its digital scores.
The company is also building technology to create digital-instrument accompaniment and previews of written scores, as well as an AI to “arrange works for different styles and skill levels”.