Quincy Jones Raises $682K More For His “Rosetta Stone of Piano” Startup

As someone who loves (and misses) playing the piano, I was excited to see a regulatory filing showing that Playground Sessions has raised $682,275 to continue building the piano lessons software startup.

The company is founded by Chris Vance and co-created by Quincy Jones, a living legend in the entertainment industry and recipient of 27 Grammy Awards. The service was launched in February and Jones calls it “the Rosetta Stone of piano”.

Michale Carney of PandoDaily covered the company in April and I enjoyed his recounting of Jones listening to a David Sides performance intently. As he described it:

“I had the privilege of sitting next to Jones during the performance. For a man who has collaborated with Sinatra, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, and other luminaries, it was inspiring to watch him become engulfed in the music. While he started off quietly, a few turns in Jones was feverishly tapping his foot along with the beat and humming the melody while swaying in his seat. It was the picture of a man squarely in his element.”

Here is a video of that performance:

According to Carney, Sides scored a 99% in the app for the rendition of One Republic’s “Apologize”.

Investors in this round include two agency execs: Andrew Howlett – CDO of Rain and Neil Munn – CEO of Zag at Bartle Bogle Hegarty of London. The company previously raised $160K in October 2012 from these same investors.

Becoming a member of the service costs $9.99/month to access the community and bootcamp materials. From there members received discounts on tutorials and sheet music, which can also be purchased by non-members at a higher price. Members also get access to badging, leaderboards, scoring of their practice and many other social features to encourage them to practice and play.

Not sure who Quincy Jones is? Listen to this barbershop quartet style tribute to The Dude featuring Ludacris, Naturally 7 and Rudy Currency doing “Soul Bossa Nostra”:

© Mattermark 2017. Sources: Mattermark Research, Crunchbase, AngelList.
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