A new streaming service promises to give hundreds of thousands of musicians a wider audience after it raised almost £250,000 through crowdfunding.

Photo of musicians

Jeeni is a multi-channel streaming service, focusing on unsigned talent – giving them access to a captivated audience as they aim to break through into the music industry.

The business generates revenue from five streams: subscription-based memberships; payments for artist fanbases; payments for artist showcases; ticketing to masterclasses and online concerts and direct sale of merchandise for fans.

The public will be able to vote for tracks and artists they like. The more likes, the more chances of success and the increasing likelihood they’ll be spotted by others in the industry.

Founding Director, Shena Mitchell, says the site is currently in beta phase, testing until the official launch.

Shena said: “A lot of our artists can’t get on Spotify. Even though the technology has come on in the industry, the A&R hasn’t. If the people at the top don’t like you, that’s it.

“But it doesn’t matter if I don’t like the music of an artist; on Jeeni it’ll be the global public deciding what’s good or not. We’re UK-based, but not UK-driven.

“A lot of people have tried this previously. Lots of companies have spent enormous amounts of money and have failed. A problem one company had was growing too big; too cumbersome, too quickly. We’re not like that – we’re super agile. Our learning has come from their suffering.”

Shena and the Jeeni team raised £231,000 over two crowdfunding rounds in six months after participating in Virgin StartUp’s CrowdBoost Accelerator programme, which gives founders the skills and knowledge to run a successful equity-based crowdfunding campaign.

In a previous job at a university, Shena had been successful in raising more than £20m through grants and bids, but says crowdfunding was a different ball game entirely.

“My background is in raising public funds, matched by private funding,” she says. “It’s totally different to crowdfunding. CrowdBoost was tremendously useful.

“It was fantastic. The quality of the course was brilliant. I thought I wouldn’t learn much, but I really did.

“One of the best things about it is that you hear from people who have done it all before and tell you like it is. We also went through it together with other start-ups who all had the same challenges as us. It’s very supportive, and such a fantastic programme.”

With 263 investors and more than 16,000 artists on board, Jeeni is almost ready to launch officially. And Shena says her investors are there for a reason - not just to make some money.

She added: “Our cornerstone investors all come from a music-related background. Our main investor has a son who, as a hip-hop artist, couldn’t get onto Spotify. Another main investor is someone who has tried this before; he saw we had overcome some of the challenges he hadn’t and came on board. People come on board for the right reasons.”

To follow in Jeeni's footsteps, find out more about how our Crowdboost programme could help you raise investment for your start-up.