After popular lyrics site Rap Genius got $15 Million from VC Andreeson Horowitz there seems to be some renewed energy in the hip hop powered startup space. This week TechCrunch profiled one of these companies – Rapt.fm.
Some of us have stayed up late with a few too many Heinekens and watched those rap battles on YouTube. Some are fantastic. Some are cringe worthy. Rapt.fm facilitates rap battles between aspiring rappers from all around the globe. A key data point in their business model is that the phrase “how to rap” is google’ed more than phrases such as “how to play a guitar”. Like the Obama campaign strategically pulled lapsed voters off their couches and into the voting booths; Rapt.fm thinks it can pull anyone with a dream of being an MC into action.
Due to the popularity of rap battles on YouTube, there may be some legs for this company for passive viewers and fans of the genre. But the question is, are there really enough aspiring rappers out there that will take the time and stomach possible humiliation for this to really go? Smart niche idea or just a really stupid company? Time will tell.