Independent online music community, GarageBand.com, has secured $2.5 million in financing from a group of institutional investors.
The company plans to launch a new service called iLike, a social music-discovery service targeted at the iPod and MySpace generation. Investors include Khosla Ventures and partner David Weiden, Bob Pittman, co-founder of MTV and former head of AOL, and Herbert Allen III of Allen & Co.
"We love to back great entrepreneurs," said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures. "We believe this is a great team to redefine how consumers discover music." Khosla was the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and former general partner at Kleiner Perkins. He has previously backed such successes as Juniper Networks, Nexgen, Cerent, Excite, Netscape, AOL, Amazon, and Google.
Ali Partovi, CEO of GarageBand.com, told Macworld: "I believe almost everybody likes the idea of discovering new music by new artists, but in reality few people want to do so by actively seeking out 'undiscovered' music. People like discovering new artists in two ways: through their friends (word-of-mouth) and using the radio or web."
Partovi continued: "We're building technology to facilitate both of these routes. We'll help consumers find new music, and help GarageBand artists find new fans. We'll leverage peer-review and collaborative filtering to ensure that the 'most liked' GarageBand music reaches the fans most likely to like it. We're developing these services under a new brand, iLike, and we're consciously focusing on iPod owners as a target market. iLike will include, among other things, a companion application for iTunes that will help you discover new music based on what you and your friends like."
The company has published a sign-up page at which potential users can register for more information as it emerges.