Project Pitch It: LÜM in expansion mode after launching app

Midwest singer-songwriter and rapper Landon DeVon performs on the LÜM stage at the 2019 Freakfest Music Festival in Madison.
Midwest singer-songwriter and rapper Landon DeVon performs on the LÜM stage at the 2019 Freakfest Music Festival in Madison.

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:36 pm

Madison-based startup LÜM launched a full version of its application, entered a strategic partnership and expanded into other markets in the U.S, all within a seven-month period.

Live Undiscovered Music Inc., or LÜM, is a music streaming and discovery social network founded in 2018 by a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison students and alumni.

The app uses gamification to entice users to review music and also tracks the popularity of surfacing artists, which music companies can use to gain insights. The platform focuses exclusively on emerging artists. The company was featured on “Project Pitch It” on WISN-TV Channel 12 in March.

Over the summer, LÜM announced the release of its mobile app on iOS exclusively.

As of late October, a total of 30,000 tracks were uploaded to LÜM, which doubled the number of uploads since August. The company finalized its seed round in July 2019 with total capital raised reaching $1.4 million shortly after the app was launched, said Derek Zenger, LÜM’s director of marketing.

The company also announced this summer it has entered a strategic partnership with concert promotor Frank Productions. From the partnership, LÜM landed a large, local sponsorship opportunity, Zenger said.

“Because of our partnership with Frank Productions, we were actually able to sponsor Freakfest, which is the 30,000-person Halloween festival on State Street in Madison,” Zenger said. “Because of our partnership, we’ve got a stage there, which of course we filled with all LÜM artists.”

LÜM also expanded into the East Coast market, a decision made after the company reviewed data from its mobile app launch, Zenger said. LÜM now has offices in Madison, Austin, and Brooklyn.

“Shortly after our launch on July 1, we saw a lot of users getting on the platform pretty much from all across the country and specifically the music hotbeds, the cities you expect people coming out from,” Zenger said.

To meet the needs of the company’s growth, LÜM hired four software developers and added two developer resources out of California with the hope of expanding its platform to Android devices, Zenger said.

“We don’t have a hard date set for that yet but hopefully in the next couple months here we can expand on that platform, which I think is really going to accelerate the growth of our company,” Zenger said.

Moving forward, LÜM is focused on increasing engagement with its platform.

“How can we keep using the cities that we’re in physically to accelerate the growth of our platform, get new partnerships and get more users on the platform?” Zenger said.

LÜM
Leadership: Max Fergus, chief executive officer; Zach Vander Velden, chief technology officer; and Jake Fergus, chief marketing officer
Address: 821 E. Washington Ave., Madison
Website: lum.fm
What it does: Music streaming and discovery social network
Founded: 2018

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Brandon Anderegg
Brandon covers startups, technology, banking and finance. He previously worked as a general assignment and court reporter for The Freeman in Waukesha. Brandon graduated from UW-Milwaukee’s journalism, advertising and media studies program with an emphasis in journalism. He enjoys live music, playing guitar and loves to hacky sack.

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