Not wanting to tip off competitors or damage potential investment negotiations, most businesses opt to keep a good amount of information private. Not Norwegian startup Propell AS, which just launched the music app Disco Fingers. Rather than, these guys have put all most private information out there and have invited those interested along as they launch their latest offering.
But first, the service itself. Disco Fingers allows amateur musicians to create tunes on their iPad (it’s iOS-exclusive at the moment), but it’s geared more towards fun than professional music-creation. The platform is pretty simple, as users are offered a blank slate to which they can add “fingers” (filters/effects) from the bottom of the screen or even their voice to make it more personal. Having creating an interesting tune, they are able to then share it with their friends or with the world by adding it to Disco Fingers FM, the platform’s internal “radio station.”
This particular app is freemium in nature, but is not terribly expensive to use, setting users back $5 to upgrade beyond the basic version and access the full list of instruments and voice filters, export ringtones, and remix beats in Disco Fingers FM. Further, users can spend $0.99 to publish after a certain point (publishing is completed on a credit basis and each user receives 2 free ones to start) and $0.99 to have the service send your tune out to 100 users.
One of the most interesting aspects about this startup is that, unlike other companies, they are quite open about their funding and total number of users. Others will reveal this information, but this startup has opted to go the extra length by maintaining a daily blog to chart the progress of their launch. Even more surprising about their openness about their funding is that they acknowledge that they have only a short time to save the company before it must close out of a lack of money. Per the blog post, the service must hit 15K downloads within the next 3 months, or the company will be out of business. CEO Per Harald Borgen says that they must reach 15K downloads per month in order to keep the business afloat and 100K per month if they aim to continue to work full-time on this project. Their launch is off to a nice start, with around 2,500 since the app went live on Friday, but it will be interesting to see if they are able to get this app to their goal levels.
Borgen tells me that the creators of Disco Fingers are no strangers to entrepreneurship, having previously released more than 20 books in the App Store, reaching an impressive 1 million in downloads. They were no strangers to raising funds, either, as Propell picked up $250K in early 2013 from a group of investors that includes Alden AS, Oxymoron AS, accelerator betaFACTORY, and Innovation Norway.