UPDATE: Music Startup Accepted Into Incubator

Vinay Kathuria, founder & CEO, Muzaic

Being a musician can be challenging in terms of setting up gigs with other musicians and finding venues to play at.

A startup that offers the ability to find these things for free has been accepted into a virtual incubator run by TiE SoCal Labs. TiE is a non-profit global community founded in 1992 by a group of entrepreneurs. TiE SoCal’s HQ are in Cerritos.

Muzaic, a booking platform for the live entertainment industry with HQ in Irvine, was founded by Vinay Kathuria (CEO), and Gig Boss, who’s also a promoter at the House of Blues in Anaheim. They’ve bootstrapped the company so far.

Muzaic’s mission is to make live shows more profitable for the artist, promoter and venue. To that end, Muzaic strives to make the booking process easier and more efficient with the goal of reducing risks for all parties involved.

Kathuria said Muzaic is timely because “more and more live music venues are closing their doors and moving away from live performers.”

“Combine that with the rise of services like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, and the competition for consumer spending on entertainment becomes even more fierce,” he added.

TiE launched the incubator last year to bring together promising early-stage companies and expose them to serial entrepreneurs, hightech executives, and other professional investors, according to its website.

Muzaic is looking forward to investor intros, mentoring and support to “further define our vision, strategy and roadmap,” from the virtual incubator, Kathuria said.

The company has already launched a beta version and hopes to launch nationally soon.

How it Works:

The website works like a combination of an employment service, dating app, and Airbnb, matching artists with opportunities and venues, and giving talent buyers and promoters a set of tools to source, hire, and manage bookings online.

And, it’s working as well as expected, Kathuria said. He told OC Startups Now that promoters and talent buyers have reported a “huge time savings” in booking shows.

“What used to take two to three days, (can) now be done within a few hours,” he said. “Artists also benefit from getting opportunities better suited to their genre, gig preferences, or type of act, as well as exposure to event organizers who might have otherwise passed them up.”

Kathuria is also a performing musician who plays guitar and co-writes music for the band, Antehero. This band credits progressive rock and alt rock influences. Their live shows are “journeys through sonic moods delivered against a backdrop of short films and psychedelic imagery.”

Antehero has opened for touring artists like Wishbone Ash and Which One’s Pink. Antehero is scheduled to perform at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai with Jefferson Starship this summer.

“From our perspective, Muzaic isn’t just a better way of doing something, it’s the start of a movement,” he said. “Our hope is that we can reverse the current trend of venues dropping live entertainment altogether.”

Currently, the services provided by Muzaic are offered freeofcharge. Later this year, the company plans to start charging talent buyers and promoters a subscription fee of about $30/month. That will provide access to do bookings – the core feature of the site – plus some premium services, which are in development. For artists, the site will continue to be offered free of charge.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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