Featured on Fundsup: ScorePad – disrupting the music score market

Every month we feature a new startup at Fundsup that forces a radical breakthrough. This time we chat with Florian Seibold, COO/CTO of ScorePad.

Hi Florian, who are you, and what exactly do you do?

I am a member of the board and COO/CTO of ScorePad AG, a firm based near Zurich, Switzerland. ScorePad develops and markets a music score digitization and rendering app. 

How did it start?

A couple of years ago, when the iPads came up, two musicians had the idea of having all their scores on a tablet. Roland Raphael, a classical pianist, and Kris Schwarz, who comes from the pop/ jazz side, looked around in the market but did not find any app suiting their needs. So they decided to set up something on their own. In the meantime, we realized that there are actually a lot of musicians (in particular conductors) around, who are looking for an encompassing solution (e.g. Kevin Griffiths).

What are the problems that you solve?

There are two fields:

1. For a long time, the paper has been the best material for music scores due to a lack of alternatives. But in practice, certain properties are problematic. After some time of intense use, the paper may get unusable. Archiving and searching can become cumbersome. Turning pages call for a free hand, air can blow paper away… etc..

2. Further, the few existing digital systems uncover a new problem: the very limited availability of digitized scores in good quality. Digitizing sheet music isn’t as easy as for text. Complex technology is needed to develop a system to generate high quality digitized sheet music efficiently.

“ScorePad integrates all functions relevant
for musicians.”

What’s your solution?

Besides replacing paper sheet music, this system goes beyond the existing, mostly PDF-based, mainly static electronic products. The ScorePad App offers individual functions, such as: taking notes, transposition, fade-in, and -out instruments, automatic turn pages, playback… It also offers interactive functions that support and enrich the play of orchestras, and the exchange of ideas among musicians. ScorePad integrates all functions relevant for musicians. In addition, our system provides an efficient conversion from traditional to digitized scores in music XML format. A machine learning approach developed by our research partner ZHAW in our project “DeepScore”, funded mainly by Innosuisse.

Doesn’t it exist already and are there no competitors around?

No, there is currently no comparable product featuring all relevant functions in one app. Yes, there are some serious competitors around, e.g. Newzik or Forescore (PDF reader).

What’s innovative about ScorePad?

The real innovation is that the musicians shall have the option to use the music of their choice and will not be dependent on the restricted selection of any particular editor. The really new element is the possibility to efficiently convert paper sheet music to a digital format. This opens the door to genuinely new functions one would not think of when using paper or even PDF.

“We aim to disrupt the music score market by introducing a system that moves the market to digital for real.”

Where do you see its main application?

Musicians and orchestras using scores, all over the world. Be it professional or ambitious hobby musicians regardless of their style or age. The global potential of the application is huge due to the universality of the notation. 

What is the impact of your business?

We aim to disrupt the music score market by introducing a system that moves the market to digital for real. A nice side effect will be the potential reduction of tons of paper used every year in the current system.

Where do you stand right now?

The app is available on the Apple AppStore for the iPad. We offer our users the most efficient conversion of traditional scores into a digitized format based on our proprietary approach.

When are you planning to go to the market?

We are on the market already. The next version shall include additional unique features, such as automatic page turn for ensembles and later for orchestras. The rollout is planned for 2021. 

Who has invested in your firm so far and how much money are you looking for right now?

So far, 15 people, mainly friends and family, have invested CHF 1 million. in the firm. They hold between <1% and >20% of the shares. To speed-up time to market, add new key functions, and grow the content base, we need CHF 2 million for the coming two years. The ideal ticket size is CHF 100’000, up to 500’000. 

What would be the ideal investor match?

Ideally, a strategic investor would have a heart beating for music, a network in the relevant markets (e.g. renown orchestras, music editors), and/or experience in expanding in the digital world. And be happy to engage in our journey over several years.

Best of luck with everything!

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

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