Less than a year after quitting his job at a Westpac Bank mortgage service centre and wondering what to do next, Savvas Dimitriou will next month be pitching his music sharing platform Kicktone at the world’s largest music industry networking event in Cannes, France.
Dimitriou tells StartupSmart that he and his co-founders had considered applying to enter the Midemlab pitching competition at the Midem conference but decided not to after thinking “we’re a small company from Adelaide, what are the odds?”
But a month before applications closed, they received an email from an organiser who had heard about them from an investor and suggested they apply.
So they did and now, in just a few weeks, Dimitriou, 30, and chief technical officer Josh Spender will be pitching Kicktone in front of major music industry investors.
Dimitriou explains that Kicktone, the first Australian start-up to take part in the pitching finals, is a platform that enables independent bands to sell music to fans and a way for fans to share music with their friends.
“I think we can genuinely effect some change in the music industry,” he says, “so independent artists get a fair voice.”
Launched in October 2013, Kicktone already has over 2000 bands signed up in 39 countries and several thousand fans on a waiting list to join when the fans feature goes live.
The app, which allows fans to pay more than the minimum price for an album if they want to, charges a 15% fee on the price paid for the music.
“I’ve always been into music,” Dimitriou says, revealing his mother made him learn to play the flute, and that he was a DJ in high school and at university.
He also created a website called Tindeck when he was 19, which allowed people to share music and grew to 100,000 users.
Dimitriou says Kicktone grew out of feedback he received from bands on Tindeck that they needed somewhere to sell music, and not just share it.
He entered the ANZ Innovyz Start program after adding Spender and chief marketing officer Cameron Bolam to the team.
It might be a bit ambitious, Dimitriou says, but he wants Kicktone to eventually become Australia’s first $1 billion music start-up.
He says the company is in the middle of raising $1 million in investment funding from Australian investors, which he describes as “looking promising”.
Dimitriou says the Midem pitching competition could be “very good” for investment. He says the company would also meet with music distributors about potential licensing deals to sell their music through the platform.