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I Like Music secures GBP700,000 deal to grow sales and accounts team

Digital music provider I Like Music is on a recruitment drive after securing a GBP700,000 growth capital deal as part of Santander’s Breakthrough programme.

 
The Richmond-based company, which supplies music to businesses including the BBC and Funky Pigeon, is looking to recruit an additional 10 staff to boost its sales and account management teams to launch a host of new services.
 
I Like Music owns the physical music collection created over 55 years by Gold Badge and award winning radio producer Phil “The Collector” Swern. Swern, a director of I Like Music, continues to keep the collection updated as well as produces shows like Sound of the Sixties and Pick of The Pops for Radio 2.
 
The physical collection, which includes every Top 40 Hit since the charts began in 1952, as well as every other conceivable genre of music has been meticulously digitized and licensed by the copyright owners in order to provide an online music service which is used throughout the BBC and by over 150 other broadcasters as their source of music for their programmes. Andy Hill, ehief executive of I Like Music, refers to these services as “the business to business equivalent of iTunes with higher quality audio files and all the missing hit tracks”. 
 
The business also supplies music for novelty birthday cards to Funky Pigeon. Consumers can buy birthday cards that include access to stream the number one single from their birth date for each of their birthdays – a product known as the “Soundtrack of Your Life”.  
 
Over the past three years, the company has been investing in developing new music based services including music recommendation software and a Virtual Jukebox. The Virtual Jukebox allows customers at bars and pubs to use their smart phone to select and pay for songs as they would do with a traditional jukebox. The Virtual Jukebox provides access to the same digital music library used throughout the BBC. This means the bar no longer has to have a big, intrusive and expensive to maintain machine as the customer can now do this all from the comfort of their seat using their mobile phone.
 
The business now needs to invest in sales and account management teams to fully exploit the opportunities opened up through these new services.
 
The GBP700,000 growth capital investment provides mezzanine-based finance at a low rate which helps bridge the gap between angel and equity investment, helping to fill the investment funding gap for UK companies of less than GBP25m turnover. The loan is part of Santander’s Breakthrough programme which aims to support fast-growth small businesses to help them accelerate their growth potential. As well as funding, Breakthrough offers companies access to trade missions, business masterclasses, networking events and support in areas such as finance and marketing.
 
Hill says: “This is a highly exciting time for the business. We have just completed the development of a range of new products and services which will enable us to fully exploit our fantastic music library, and we are now looking to invest in our teams so that we can fully take advantage of the new markets and customers opening up for us. The growth capital investment will enable us to take on ten additional employees this year which will really help us accelerate our plans.
 
”Additionally, the contacts we met whilst on the Breakthrough trade mission have been invaluable, and whilst we are still at an early stage, we are excited about the potential prospects for our business in this new market. It’s refreshing to get this level of real support from a bank.”
 

Darren Hart, head of growth capital at Santander Corporate & Commercial, says: “We are thrilled to be supporting I Like Music with this next stage of its growth. At Santander, we are committed to helping smaller companies grow and realise their ambitions, and we know that without this type of innovative growth capital many would not be able to access the finance they need to fund this growth. Breakthrough aims to support companies who want to take a leap to the next level of growth by providing not just finance, but also access to new markets, peer advice and business partners to help facilitate and nurture this growth.”

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