While other entertainment industries have moved to digital distribution, karaoke is still stuck in the 90s, with its equipment, 8-bit graphics, and karaoke videos. Singa modernizes karaoke and has built the first digital streaming service for karaoke – an underserved USD 15 billion global market. Since 2015, the company has expanded to 34 countries and grown into a 45-strong team.
VC Magazin: How did you come up with the idea to digitize karaoke?
Hujanen: I had previously worked with a lot of karaoke companies, and in the beginning, it always boggled my mind as to how analogue and hardware-driven the entire industry was; nobody was looking to innovate at all! After a while, I realized that it was a whole business model: if no one innovates, then people will just have to settle for whatever the industry is selling at a high margin because karaoke as a hobby wasn’t going anywhere. At the same
time Spotify, Netflix, Audible, and all sorts of other streaming media services were popping up and supercharging the user experience. We saw an opportunity to become the Spotify for karaoke and went for it.
VC Magazin: What role did the pandemic play in the digitalization of karaoke? Did this period give you a special boost?
Hujanen: The pandemic had both positive and negative impacts on our business because we serve both consumers and the hospitality industry. Our B2B revenues took a serious hit because of the lockdowns, but on the other hand, our consumer business grew significantly as people were looking for new entertainment options while spending more time at home. After the hospitality restrictions started to lift, bars and other venues also started to use new digital features, such as the Singa mobile song request, and finally got rid of old-school songbooks.
VC Magazin: Worldwide, the karaoke industry brings in USD 15 billion. What growth opportunities do you see here for Singa?
Hujanen: The popularity of karaoke and the market never stopped growing, but very little innovation has been seen in the industry. The karaoke industry is highly fragmented and low-tech – and we are perfectly aligned to change that. We want to be the global leader in all things karaoke and outshine the incumbent karaoke companies in the next five years.
VC Magazin: What goals have you set for yourself in terms of crowdinvesting? What are your next steps?
Hujanen: With our last Invesdor funding campaign in late 2021, we raised EUR 3.6 million and are aiming to raise a similar amount this time. Due to the wobbliness of the macroeconomic forecast and the looming recession scare, the next strategic step for us is to reach cash flow neutrality by the end of H1/2024 while also maintaining a strong, but sustainable 100% YoY growth pace.
VC Magazin: Thank you very much.
About the interview partner:
Atte Hujanen is the co-founder and CEO of Singa. Previously, as CEO, he scaled Karaoke World Championships to the world’s largest amateur singing competition in more than 40 countries. As COO and co-founder, he scaled the Slush conference from 300 to 25,000 attendees.