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Suno raises $125M for generative AI music app

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May 22, 2024
Illustration of a pencil writing sheet music with dollar and cents symbols

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Generative AI startup Suno has raised a Series B round, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, that brings its total funding to $125 million.

Why it matters: The large investment underscores interest in creative applications and the commercialization of generative AI.

Zoom in: Suno offers an app to create songs by simply typing a genre or theme. The company has a free plan that lets users generate a limited number of songs and two paid tiers ranging from $8 to $30.

  • Based in Cambridge, Mass., Suno is led by Mikey Shulman, who got a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard and was previously head of machine learning for Kensho Technologies.
  • Lightspeed was joined by Matrix Partners, Founder Collective, former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman and others. The round values Suno at $500 million, per The Information.
  • "We at Lightspeed have been so impressed by not only their execution, but also their thoughtfulness," partner Michael Mignano said in a LinkedIn post. "Suno is on a mission to both lower the barrier for aspiring musicians while also increasing opportunity and raising the ceiling of what's possible for existing musicians, too."

Zoom out: AI music creation has garnered concern from the music industry. Sony Music recently sent letters to more than 700 companies warning them against using its content without permission, per Bloomberg.

  • Generative AI, overall, is under scrutiny from copyright holders. ChatGPT creator OpenAI faces separate lawsuits from The New York Times and from eight daily newspapers owned by Alden Global Capital, alleging copyright infringement.
  • Meanwhile, other media companies like Axel Springer and tech platforms like Reddit have inked deals with OpenAI.
  • Suno said in a press release about the funding that while its core customer base is everyday people, Grammy-winning artists have used the product.
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