MOG, a music blogging network that recently launched an all-you-can-eat streaming service, raised $9.5 million in a round led by Menlo Ventures and Balderton Capital.
The new funds will help the company develop mobile apps that let users stream music on the go, cut deals with hardware companies to have MOG come pre-installed on a host of devices from TVs to music players in cars and launch in Europe where it will go head-to-head with Sweden’s Spotify. Unlike rival Spotify, MOG doesn’t offer free, advertising-supported streaming. It gives prospective subscribers a free trial, then they have to pay $5 a month for the service.
“We built this with the original goal of being ad-supported but we realized you can’t make the numbers work,” said David Hyman, MOG’s chief executive, who is skeptical that Spotify can secure the contracts to make a free U.S. debut. “We know that music is already free, so for $5 we want to give you a better value.” He told us this in an interview earlier this year.
Hence, MOG has built the Swiss army knife of music streaming services; it accommodates all kinds of ways of listening to music. You can use it to search through 7 million songs or listen to it Pandora-style where it will suggest songs that are similar to one of your choice. It also has some Last.fm-like features where you can follow what other friends have been listening to. On top of that, MOG supports a blogging network that posts 7,000 articles a week about bands.
The round adds to $12.5 million in earlier fundraising from Menlo Ventures and Simon Equity Partners. With this round, Dharmash Mistry, a partner at Balderton Capital, joins MOG’s board.