Turntable.fm, the social platform that lets people collaboratively build and perform DJ sets, has raised $7.5 million in venture capital funding, according to a Medium post by CEO Billy Chasen. Turntable.fm was revived by Chasen as a response to the pandemic, after it shut down in 2013. But it’s not the only version of Turntable in the works now, which makes that funding more interesting.
The investment was led by the Andreessen Horowitz firm, also known as a16z, which has invested in products like Clubhouse, Coinbase, and Robinhood. The list of investors also includes Seth Goldstein, who was a co-founder and investor for the original incarnation of Turntable.fm in 2011.
While Turntable.fm is being run by its original creator, another group is trying to create a competing revival of the service. It’s also called Turntable but is located at tt.fm. It’s helmed by another former member of the original Turntable team, Joseph Perla, who hopes to turn it into a mobile-first service with a revamped design.
The two sites, however, don’t get along — there’s controversy over whether Perla was a co-founder or just an employee (Turntable.fm’s about page throws shade about this, listing Goldstein as the “only other co-founder”), and over the trademark. Both sides say that the other made legal threats, and that they wish the other would just leave them alone to work on the project. The top of Turntable.fm’s Wikipedia page is filled with warnings about disputes and close connections, and Chasen and Perla have both written Medium articles addressing the situation (both with their own versions of the story). If it reminds you of the Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man meme, you’re not alone.
a16z, though, has seemingly chosen to back Chasen’s version, which has the original turntable.fm URL. Chasen doesn’t discuss much about what the future of the service will look like in the blog post, other than the fact that he’s turning off the Patreon crowd-funding. I spoke to him right after the site originally came back, and at the time Chasen said that the site only played YouTube videos but that SoundCloud integration was in the works. It seems that he’s made good on this promise, as that integration is now in place.
The Medium post also says that Turntable.fm is looking to hire engineers or designers to work on its team, which makes sense now that the company has some money to spend.
At the moment, the service is still hidden behind a password, which is sent to users after they join the waitlist by emailing Turntable their favorite song (the site’s message implies you’ll be judged on your taste).