Riffage.com Hits High Notes With AOL, BMG Funding

Investors include America Online and BMG Entertainment, one of the “big five” record companies. Other investors include Bertelsmann Ventures, the Mayfield Fund and Trans Cosmos USA, which has also invested in companies such as Liquid Audio, RealNetworks and Spinner. The funding announcement comes one week after Riffage.com announced an e-commerce agreement with barnesandnoble.com. In addition, Riffage.com and AOL recently announced a digital music distribution deal to promote Riffage.com’s offerings throughout many of AOL’s brands. Riffage.com, which launched in March, also has agreements with companies such as CNET, Digital on Demand, eCircles.com, Listen.com, MusicMatch, RealNetworks, Scour.net and ZDNet. “We view our relationship with Riffage.com, with its community-building approach and growing music catalog of talented artists, as an important component of our own digital music strategy,” said Ted Leonsis, president of AOL’s Interactive Properties Group. Funding For Technology Riffage.com plans to spend its new funding on technology that will allow the company to expand on its personalization, community and music functionality. Some of the money will also be spent on marketing programs. “In addition to the capital infusion, we’re looking forward to the synergistic and cross-business opportunities presented by our new relationships with these leading companies,” said Ken Wirt, CEO of Riffage.com. Bertelsmann Ventures is the venture fund of Bertelsmann AG. Bertelsmann, notably, has a collection of businesses that are already or could be future partners with Riffage.com. Bertelsmann is the world’s third-largest media company with annual sales of approximately $18 billion. The company’s subsidiaries include Random House, Bantam and BMG. Bertelsmann has stakes in more than 600 companies, including AOL Europe, barnesandnoble.com, CompuServe Europe and Lycos Europe. BMG Entertainment owns more than 200 record labels in 53 countries, including Arista, RCA and Ariola Music, as well as the world’s largest mail-order music club. The company also has a stake in online music community site GetMusic.com, which is a joint venture with Universal Music Group, About Riffage.com Based in Palo Alto, California, Riffage.com was founded by Wirt, who was previously vice president of corporate marketing for Diamond Multimedia Systems. At Diamond Multimedia, Wirt was responsible for the strategic planning and launch of the portable Rio MP3 player. Investors include America Online and BMG Entertainment, one of the “big five” record companies. Other investors include Bertelsmann Ventures, the Mayfield Fund and Trans Cosmos USA, which has also invested in companies such as Liquid Audio, RealNetworks and Spinner.

The funding announcement comes one week after Riffage.com announced an e-commerce agreement with barnesandnoble.com. In addition, Riffage.com and AOL recently announced a digital music distribution deal to promote Riffage.com’s offerings throughout many of AOL’s brands.

Riffage.com, which launched in March, also has agreements with companies such as CNET, Digital on Demand, eCircles.com, Listen.com, MusicMatch, RealNetworks, Scour.net and ZDNet.

“We view our relationship with Riffage.com, with its community-building approach and growing music catalog of talented artists, as an important component of our own digital music strategy,” said Ted Leonsis, president of AOL’s Interactive Properties Group.

Funding For Technology

Riffage.com plans to spend its new funding on technology that will allow the company to expand on its personalization, community and music functionality. Some of the money will also be spent on marketing programs.

“In addition to the capital infusion, we’re looking forward to the synergistic and cross-business opportunities presented by our new relationships with these leading companies,” said Ken Wirt, CEO of Riffage.com.

Bertelsmann Ventures is the venture fund of Bertelsmann AG. Bertelsmann, notably, has a collection of businesses that are already or could be future partners with Riffage.com.

Bertelsmann is the world’s third-largest media company with annual sales of approximately $18 billion. The company’s subsidiaries include Random House, Bantam and BMG. Bertelsmann has stakes in more than 600 companies, including AOL Europe, barnesandnoble.com, CompuServe Europe and Lycos Europe.

BMG Entertainment owns more than 200 record labels in 53 countries, including Arista, RCA and Ariola Music, as well as the world’s largest mail-order music club. The company also has a stake in online music community site GetMusic.com, which is a joint venture with Universal Music Group,

About Riffage.com

Based in Palo Alto, California, Riffage.com was founded by Wirt, who was previously vice president of corporate marketing for Diamond Multimedia Systems. At Diamond Multimedia, Wirt was responsible for the strategic planning and launch of the portable Rio MP3 player.

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