ROLI Raises $27 Million Series B Led by Foundry Group to Globally Expand Its Connected Music Ecosystem

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ROLI,
the East London-based music technology company, has raised $27 million
to accelerate growth and bring its revolutionary devices — including the
celebrated Seaboard
RISE
— to music-makers around the world.


ROLI has rapidly established itself as the most innovative company in
music technology by creating connected instruments that offer
unprecedented expression. The Series B fundraising will help ROLI scale
to meet growing demand, expand in new markets, and intensively build out
its product,
engineering, and marketing teams
in North America and Europe.

Roland
Lamb
, Founder and CEO of ROLI, said: “Music is a source of joy,
and we want to make music creation more connected and accessible for
everyone. The success of the Seaboard has shown that people want musical
devices that are elegant, advanced and open to all — and as easy to use
as a smartphone or tablet. We’re thrilled to be partnering with some of
the world’s most experienced investors as we revolutionize how people
express themselves through music. And as we continue this journey, we
are looking for everyone — from coders and makers to composers and
musicians — to join the ROLI team as we change the shape of music.”

ROLI’s chain of connected hardware, software, platform and developer
products have received worldwide acclaim. The Seaboard
RISE
, an instrument that launched in September 2015, remodels the
piano keyboard as a soft, smooth, touch-responsive surface that lets
music-makers shape sound through five
dimensions of touch
. Artists
have celebrated the Seaboard RISE, while reviewers
have hailed it as “one
of the most exciting, progressive, and potent MIDI controllers ever made

that “borrows
the best of the analog and digital worlds
” to “offer
the electronic musician a more personal, emotionally engaged playing
experience
.” In December 2015 ROLI launched NOISE,
a free iOS app that turns iPhones and iPads into delightfully expressive
musical instruments. The app, which the Apple Store features on
demonstration units of its iPhones, has set the standard in applying
Apple’s 3D Touch technology to music creation.

Foundry
Group
, the Boulder-based venture capital firm, led the round in its
first investment outside the US. Ryan McIntyre, partner at Foundry
Group, said: “We’ve had the opportunity to partner with companies at
the forefront of Connected Health, Connected Play, and other areas where
the intersection of physical and digital technologies is transforming
the way we live. We’re tremendously excited to be working with Roland
and the ROLI team to transform and connect how people make music. The
Seaboard is a truly expressive new instrument, and we believe this is
just the first step in a breakthrough roadmap for Connected Music
.”

London-based BGF
Ventures
and San Francisco-based Founders Fund joined the round
alongside all the investors who participated in ROLI’s $12.8m Series A: Balderton
Capital
, FirstMark
Capital
, Index
Ventures
, Horizons
Ventures
, and Universal
Music Group
.

ROLI welcomes new US-based investors Foundry Group and Founders Fund at
a time when the US accounts for a large share of current and prospective
sales. It has opened offices in New York and Los Angeles since its
acquisition of Blend,
the cloud-based music-sharing platform, in October 2015. While ROLI
continues to grow in the US and Europe, it is also expanding
internationally. Seaboards are now available in approximately 200
retail outlets
in 15 countries. Seaboards purchased on ROLI’s online
Store
ship globally.

ROLI is extending the journey of music creation to everyone not only
through its products but also by working with institutions like Children’s
Music Fund
, INSPIRE
Music
, and Rytmo.
Expanding its commitments to society, ROLI announces today that it will
pledge 1% of its products, equity, and team’s time to find new ways of
bringing the joy of making to everyone. It joins technology companies
such as Salesforce.org, Techstars, and Glassdoor in the Pledge
1%
movement in the US and UK.

About ROLI

ROLI is a London-based technology company that is creating a more
connected music ecosystem. The award-winning
Seaboard
RISE
and Seaboard
GRAND
are redefining how expressive a musical instrument can be. NOISE,
the free music-making app, turns the iPhone into a powerful handheld
instrument. New dimensions of musical expression are opening through Equator,
ROLI’s groundbreaking sound engine. As the leading C++ framework for
audio, JUCE
is making music applications run faster in real time. And Blend.io
is building a new community for music collaboration by letting artists
share their projects on an open social platform. Through hardware,
software, and social products, ROLI is making a new chain of
music-making tools that lets people express more.

Contacts

ROLI
Will MacNamara, +44 7803 362 198
will.macnamara@roli.com