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Apple Siri co-founder’s startup bags £11M funding for using AI to compose personalised music for you

tom-gruber

Lifescore, the UK-based AI music technology company, announced that it has raised £11M in Series A funding led by Octopus Ventures. 

Other investors, including Warner Music, IDEO, 4 Good Ventures, and Metaplanet Holdings OÜ, participated in the round. The latest round brings Lifescore’s total funding raised to £12M.

How will the funding be used?

The company intends to use the funding to accelerate its traction in Europe, the US, and Asia by strengthening its technical, audio, and operations teams. 

Further, LifeScore plans to invest in its proprietary adaptive music technology. 

Philip Sheppard, Co-founder, and CEO of LifeScore, comments: “Music isn’t just a luxury, it’s an essential part of life. Whether for sleep, mental wellbeing, exercise, or a much-needed adrenalin rush, music is there to soundtrack our lives. LifeScore wants to bring the composer into the action, using Augmented Intelligence to surprise and delight, rendering music reactive and dynamic in real-time. We are thrilled to have found such supportive partners in this investment round, and believe that this will enable us to bring an entirely new music platform to fruition whilst creating many opportunities for musicians.”

How does Lifescore come into existence?

LifeScore was founded by Philip Sheppard (film and video game composer), Tom Gruber (co-inventor of Siri and world-renowned AI expert), Ian Drew ( a serial technology entrepreneur), and Chris Walch (a former attorney at Latham & Watkins).

Sheppard came up with the idea during one of his morning walks in 2016. 

“Every morning, I go for a six-mile walk and listen to music that tends to be very patterned, detailed, organic, textural – something like Punch Brothers, Sibelius symphonies, or Jessica Curry’s soundtracks,” says Sheppard. 

He continues, “Sometimes I’ll go to heavy repeat mode on that just because I’m not listening to the music: I’m using it as a way of distracting the ‘monkey brain’… it becomes like a meditation. I then know what I’m doing for the rest of the day.” 

“If I was living a LifeScore day, the music could adapt as I walk to help me into that mode. If it begins to rain or the sun appears over the horizon, for example, the music could reflect that; likewise, the temperature or humidity might determine the specific composition for the user at that moment,” he says. 

The company addresses the fundamental problem of how to incorporate the musical creativity and expertise of composers and musicians in the production of music by a machine — on-demand and at scale. 

Imagine a world where your every sensation is augmented with music. 

How does it work?

To simply put, LifeScore is an adaptive music startup whose algorithms compose music on the go, responding to individual movements and other data.

The company works with musicians and composers, including Abbey Road Studios in London, to record and compose musical building blocks. 

The raw musical material is then processed by a proprietary AI platform to generate soundtracks that adapt to the people’s environment and inputs, creating an interactive musical experience that is unique every time you engage it.

The company’s Cellular Composition is a patented way to transform the building blocks of composition into adaptive music by algorithmically selecting, combining, layering, sequencing, mixing, and playing out the final product in real-time. 

Since it can adapt the music in real-time, LifeScore can offer the benefits of music to entertain, inspire, relax, energise, and evoke emotion. 

Lifescore says its software, data, and wholly-owned Audio Asset Bank are managed in the cloud. 

Consequently, cloud platforms enable the company to deploy services within any physical space or on any desktop, mobile device, or hardware.

Investor

Based out of London and New York, Octopus Ventures is a multi-stage venture capital investor specialising in B2B software, health, money, deep tech, and consumer.

With £1.3B under management and investing over £200M a year, Octopus Ventures is one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe.

The company’s typical investment is from £1M for Seed to £10M for Series B. So far, the company has backed the likes of BoughtByMany, Cazoo, Depop, Elvie, WaveOptics, and many more.

Akriti Dokania, Investor at Octopus Ventures, says, “LifeScore has made truly pioneering advances with its music technology. Music is central to our way of living and mood, and by creating adaptive music on demand, the technology is algorithmically tailored to the context and needs of the listener. Philip Sheppard and the team have a huge vision for the future of music and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be supporting them on this journey”

Oana Ruxandra, Chief Digital Officer & EVP, Business Development, Warner Music Group, says, “Interactivity is at the core of the music ecosystem’s evolution and adaptive music will be a key driver of this interactivity. Fundamental to the investment is the importance that LifeScore places on the artist. Adaptive AI, held at the fingertips of our artists, will provide powerful opportunities to tailor and personalize experiences for fans. We’re excited to get started.”

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