Other Echo – A learning platform for every music producer

Every week we feature a new startup at Fundsup that forces a radical breakthrough. This time we chat with Twan Ronnes and Lars Muselaers, Founders of Other Echo.

Read the Dutch version on Emerce.

Twan and Lars, what exactly are you doing?

We provide aspiring musicians with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills to develop their talent using an online educational platform. Other Echo contains a broad – and partly curated – selection of people to help you out, varying from artists to highly experienced teachers and leading brand experts. In essence, we provide engaging and fun ways to develop yourself musically through high-quality classes available for fair prices and everyone on the planet.

These classes are initially live and interactive, meaning students are in direct contact with their teachers through a video conference tool. They can always ask their trainer and fellow students questions to get answers and feedback tailored to their personal situation. Of course, the students can rewatch the classes they attended whenever they like, but they can also be watched on-demand by new students.

We’re really creating a continuously growing archive of online courses on music production.

Where do you see its main application?

Regardless of where you are or live, you can join classes hosted by trainers from all walks of life and all over the world. Other Echo gives you the freedom to follow classes in any form, from one-on-one sessions to group classes big and small, and from complete courses to single workshops and mentorships at any level. We’re not big on pigeonholing, so Other Echo offers classes on pretty much any electronic genre you can think of, covering the complete musical spectrum and focusing on in-depth knowledge instead of generic pieces of info.

Additionally, we’re building our own video chat service and booking infrastructure that will be available as a white label SaaS for external parties, so we’re allowing other brands and institutions like record labels and music schools to set up their own online academies and host live classes.

What is the impact of your business?

Nowadays, the sheer majority of music topping the worldwide charts is produced with electronic gear, and DJs and producers have been headlining massive mainstream events for quite some time. This resulted in an enormous influx of ambitious beginning musicians who have grown up in the digital era and want to master electronic tools like Ableton Live, drum computers and synthesizers – rather than playing traditional instruments like the guitar or piano.

Funnily enough, with all of the current technical possibilities, people are still undertaking lengthy trips to attend offline music production classes. They have to reach out to friends, relatives and other people for help or get lost in the maze of inadequate and outdated online educational content. Technology has changed many things in our lives, but learning how to make electronic music is not one of them. Yet. On the other hand, many people, think of artists, professional teachers and experienced hobbyists, have boatloads of knowledge and experience, combined with a willingness to share it through teaching. They simply lack a convenient way to do so. The result is that a lot of musical talent across the globe goes to waste or can’t reach its full potential. Seeing that electronic(ly made) music is such a driver for the economy, coming up with new ways to enthuse and educate producers has more benefits than one.

Where do you stand right now?

After developing the platform for a year, setting up the first partnerships and joining forces with an introductory selection of trainers from scratch, we launched Other Echo and the initial batch of classes in late March. We hosted over 30 live sessions during these four months, attended by over 400 students from more than 15 countries. We also created the first content with our brand partners and hosted our first offline events throughout the Netherlands. We did a lot of experimentation to see how we can set up the best class content, pull people towards the platform, what our students, trainers and partners are expecting, and how they (want to) use Other Echo. All those activities have led us to the perfect platform set-up. 

A significant and growing group of users comes back to the platform constantly to register for new classes.

When are you planning to go to the market?

Now that we’ve been operational for four months and found the right set-up, we’re looking for a first round of funding to take the next step. Next to scaling up our team and intensifying our marketing activities, this next step is rooted in a major technical update of the platform. Including, among others, the on-demand class archive, a customized video chat service, a lot of automation, UX- and usability updates and the possibility to use the platform externally as a white label.

Who has invested in you and what kind of investors are you looking for?

We’ve bootstrapped the company, so it’s entirely self-funded at the moment. For this first round of funding we’re now working on, we’re looking for one or more private angels that can help us develop the platform’s roadmap and strategy further and facilitate the right circumstances for growth and acceleration. In other words: someone who has scaled a software business and/or online platform in Europe and beyond, and is excited to help an ambitious startup in the music industry do the same.

What would be the ideal investor match?

Apart from the qualities we just mentioned, the most logical step would be to involve people with a healthy love for music who want to help stimulate and develop (musical) talent, wherever it may be.

Best of luck with everything!

Thanks, check out our pitch deck in the Fundsup app: https://api.fundsup.co/go/NBW20NYV-m

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