Commentary

Want Startup Funding? Just Get Lady Gaga On Board

Backplane, the tech startup which counts Lady Gaga as an investor, has raised $4.5 million in its first round of funding from backers including Sequoia Capital, Greylock Discovery Fund, Battery Ventures, Formation 8, Advance/Newhouse Investment Partnership, and Founders Fund, according to the Wall Street Journal. All of which just goes to show that to make it in the world of tech startups all you need is a little ingenuity, some healthy ambition, and the backing of the world’s most famous celebrity. Easy!

Backplane will use some of the funds to beef up its engineering talent pool. Although its exact plans aren’t clear, Backplane will probably launch social networks devoted to celebrities as well as more utilitarian subjects including software developers, again according to the WSJ. CEO Matthew Michelsen says the startup is already generating revenue, somehow, and has so far spent less than $1 million on developing its platform, which incorporates email, photo sharing, chat, calendar, and social networking functions, including integration of Facebook and Twitter.

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Previously I wrote about Lady Gaga’s plans to launch to launch littlemonsters.com, an online home for her millions of fans, in collaboration with Backplane. The network is currently in beta, but visitors to the Web address can register for an invitation by submitting their email addresses. According to Michelsen, “hundreds of thousands” of people signed up for the network the day after it was revealed, suggesting there is considerable appetite among the little monsters to be at one with Gaga.  Indeed, Gaga has over 18 million followers on Twitter, many of whom will presumably join the new Web site.

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