Jelli, a music startup that makes old-school radio interactive, closed a $7 million first round of funding with Battery Ventures and First Round Capital. Satya Patel, a Battery partner and former senior product manager for Google’s AdSense, joins the company’s board.
Jelli has one of the more interesting and feasible business models related to music around Silicon Valley. It allows listeners to “take over” a radio station and collaboratively create playlists. It’s more interactive than a Top 40 or Total Request Live type of format. There are game mechanics that award Jelli listeners the ability to “rocket” song choices to the top or bomb choices that are bad.
The benefit of going with traditional radio stations, and not the online route like Pandora, is that old media properties don’t have to pay the same kinds of onerous royalties that Internet radio stations do. Traditional radio also has a more established advertising network; CBS’ radio properties for example, bring in just over $1 billion in revenue annually.
Jelli first started doing tests with CBS’ rock station LIVE 105 in San Francisco; it worked so well that the company expanded to six nights a week. The company has also signed with Triton Media to launch across the U.S.
The new $7 million round comes on top of $2 million in angel funding raised in January.