Forbes | 06.23.16

ROLI’s $27 Million Series B Round Brings Us Closer To A Connected Music Ecosystem

By Cherie Hu

ROLI’s framework for disrupting the music industry is what its founder and CEO Roland Lamb describes to me as “disrupting the physics of expression.” While this phrase seems rather high-level and abstract, the company has actually made its disruptive physics more accessible over the years by rolling out products with a wider range of sizes and price points. In addition, between its Series A and Series B funding rounds, ROLI secured partnerships with educational institutions such as Berklee College of Music, the Abbey Road Institute, the Guildhall School and the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, India.

“The potential market for ROLI is huge,” says Harry Briggs, Partner at BGF Ventures. “There are so many people taking music lessons, and even more people who want to learn an instrument or reach a certain level of musical expressiveness, but do not have the right tools.” Yet, recent history has given us products that only tinker with, rather than rebuild, the creative process, and that are tailored more toward hobbyists than toward true professionals. On the other hand, the most innovative, highest-quality products are often priced too highly or do not convince the wider public of their long-term utility.

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