Tuning Up: Frisco-Based Music Audience Exchange–aka MAX–Raises Series B Funding To Expand

Frisco-based MAX, a tech marketing company that powers brand and music partnerships, raised $6 million in 2017. A new round led by Interlock Partners will help fund the development of SET.Live. The new platform lets artists engage with fans at live shows while creating unique sponsorable assets for brands like Ford, McDonald's, and more.

“This investment allows MAX to continue fulfilling its mission to automate and digitize artist sponsorships and create a new marketplace for the creator economy,” says CEO and founder Nathan Hanks.

Nathan Hanks

MAX (Music Audience Exchange), a Frisco-based music technology company that powers artist brand sponsorships, announced Wednesday that it’s received a new Series B funding round led by Interlock Partners, with continued support from Method Capital.

The amount of the funding was not disclosed.

The company said that the funding will be used for continued development of SET.Live and expansion of its sales and marketing teams to meet growing demand.

“This investment allows MAX to continue fulfilling its mission to automate and digitize artist sponsorships and create a new marketplace for the creator economy,” CEO and founder Nathan Hanks said in a statement.

In 2017, the company said it raised $6 million in funding. 

Data-driven marketing automation

The company said it reinvented music x brand partnerships via data-driven marketing automation to better serve brands, artists, and music fans.

Now it says MAX is again at the forefront of innovation as massive pent-up demand brings people back to live events and experiences. The company said it’s adapted to meet the challenges of a changing market, expanding from brand partnerships rooted in live touring to immersive digital experiences.

Partners include Ford, McDonald’s, and more

MAX partners with brands such as Ford, UScellular, McDonald’s, AARP, Gildan, Elavon, and more, and supports a growing portfolio of more than 1,000 artists including Kane Brown, Alan Jackson, Jon Batiste, Leela James, Queen Naija, AJR, Melissa Etheridge, Thomas Rhett, Evanescence, Chris Young, Michelle Branch, Mau Y Ricky, Lecrae, Jimmie Allen, Clint Black, and others with live engagement tools and promotional sponsorships.

With SET.Live, MAX said it has created a new hybrid experience and first-of-its-kind mobile activation platform that brings the digital habits people adopted over the past years to live events, concerts, and festivals.

The SET.Live platform enables artists to directly engage with fans at live shows while creating unique sponsorable assets for brands, the company said.

“Since launching SET.Live earlier this year, we will have powered interactive mobile experiences for nearly 2,000 concerts and shows by the end of 2022,” MAX President Steve Fullbright said in a statement.

Expanding board of directors

MAX said it is expanding its board of directors with the addition of Carl Sparks, managing partner at Interlock, and Elizabeth Brooks, managing partner at Better Angels Ventures and leader in the intersection of music and tech.

“MAX is in a unique position to create a new marketplace that can unlock previously untapped sponsorable inventory for artists and drive more effective marketing campaigns for brands,” Sparks said in a statement.

“I’m excited to be part of MAX’s board and help them with their continued growth,” Brooks added.

Interlock Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm with offices in Dallas and New York. It backs companies driving transformational change in the enterprise technology stack fueled by artificial intelligence, cloud platforms, and other innovative solutions.

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.

Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.

One quick signup, and you’re done.  

R E A D   N E X T

  • Two nonprofits will each receive $250,000 in grant funding. The Capital One grants are part of a $3.5 million commitment to 12 nonprofit organizations.

  • The Centanni Lab at TCU has received a $10,000 grant from the GRAMMY Museum for a study exploring connections between musical instruction and brain improvements that might help with dyslexia. "We've found in the last few years that there may be some overlap here—a really interesting way of using our knowledge about musical training to learn some more about what's happening in the brain in individuals that have dyslexia," Dr. Tracy Centanni told Dallas Innovates.

  • Most anyone who has been commuting to work over the past two years has likely noticed a decrease in traffic. Brookings Institution noted that metro traffic congestion was cut in half after COVID-19 hit in 2020, attributing it largely to employees working virtually from home, and more flexible work schedules (though government stay-at-home orders figured prominently as well). The think tank has also reported that 18 million households in rural and urban America are without broadband internet service, which allows streaming of data for smart devices. Considering those factors, the DFW region’s metropolitan planning organization recently informally adopted the policy…

  • Pitted Ventures, a newly formed Utah-based growth capital firm backed by a family of support companies, has tapped a local leader to help it bridge funding gaps for brands while providing wraparound services to help those business grow to the next stage. With Dallas as a hub, it aims to make typical investments of $750K to $1.5M starting this summer.

  • AlgoPear, a subscription-based algorithmic stock trading platform, has onboarded more than 4,000 users and grown its monthly recurring revenue with a team of 15, according to co-founder and CEO Ronnie Green. Green says the startup is seeing the "hypergrowth that any founder or any investor would love to see right now."