Ascension backs audio processing masters: CloudBounce

Ascension Ventures is pleased to announce its investment from the ASCEND SEIS Fund III into music start-up CloudBounce, an instant digital audio mastering service.

CloudBounce helps musicians and audio content creators sound better during the creative process, providing the user with an invaluable tool for instant feedback on an audio track.  Its modular audio processing engine can be modified for every use case, including song mastering and enhancement, audio processing for mobile video, and adding effects to voice messages.  The (artificially) intelligent machine, unlike Shazam or Echo Digital Audio, makes processing decisions based on context, therefore delivering the most relevant mastering; mastering Pucci’s ‘Tosca’ requires very different enhancing to Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’.

Anssi Uimonen, founder and CEO of CloudBounce commented:

Since launching the first version of our intelligent mastering service in January 2016, we have seen pretty good growth, especially in the amateur musician segment.  During the past 10 months, we have validated the definitive need for high quality, fast and affordable solution for online mastering in the global market.  Along with this, we secured our first deep integration with a notable Digital Audio Workstation software company, Tracktion, and now have multiple partners already integrating the mastering API into their own services.  We clicked with Ascension on the very first day we met and are delighted they are on board as investors; they get what we’re doing!”

CloudBounce’s recent partnerships were formed around the need for mastering, coming from multiple areas of music.  If you are within the creative process, you can master during the mix directly via the Tracktion T7 digital audio workstation.  When you are making your next music video, you will soon have the ability to master during the video creation process on Rotor (another Ascension Ventures portfolio business).  Similarly, when you are publishing or sending out a demo, you can soon master with Demobox and Mixnauten.  Or, if you just want to be discovered and sell your tunes, you will have the platform to master files before publishing them on Orfium.  As Chris Mohoney, CEO of Orfium, puts it, “Well mastered music gets played more, shared more, and purchased more.  All music by any serious artist should be mastered before uploading to Orfium.”

Kieran Hill, COO at Ascension Ventures commented:

“I was hugely impressed by CloudBounce’s vision from the moment I met the team during the Abbey Road incubator programme. Their audio processing engine is more than just a music mastering service; it has the potential to be the go-to-technology for any audio enhancement purpose. Along with this, the company has been smart with the partners it has chosen to launch the service, which includes another Ascension portfolio business, Rotor. In the Music tech space, there are multiple startups offering complementary services throughout the music supply chain, many with different audiences and users. By partnering and leveraging each other’s user bases, they can witness strong growth very quickly. He added, We’re delighted to be investing in CloudBounce and look forward to them partnering with the other music tech companies in our portfolio.”

Libby Clegg, a partially-sighted paralympian, gets to see boyfriend clearly with GiveVision’s goggles

The partially-sighted Paralympian Libby Clegg has seen her boyfriend more clearly than ever before thanks to a new set of hi-tech goggles.
The gold medal runner tested the prototype at the London offices of its creator GiveVision.

Ascension Ventures win Silicon Canal Award 2016 – ‘Best Angel or Seed Investor’

Silicon Canal Awards 2016 - Best Angel or Seed Investor

Silicon Canal Awards 2016 – Best Angel or Seed Investor

Ascension Ventures win Silicon Canal Award for “Best Angel or Seed Investor”

Ascension Ventures were proud to be announced winners at the Silicon Canal Awards 2016, in the “Best Angel or Seed Investor” category. The award recognises Ascension’s continued commitment to supporting tech startups in Birmingham and across the West Midlands.

The inaugural Technology Awards were held on Wednesday 2nd November at Boxxed, Faraday Wharf, Birmingham. The awards showcased success stories emerging from the Birmingham tech and digital media ecosystem. Across nine categories, Silicon Canal celebrated a diverse range of technology companies, from early stage startups to established entrepreneurs. We have been hugely proud of the way the city has come on in recent years and would recommend any early-stage investor to take note of the companies popping up every week. We will continue to use Birmingham as one of our key sources of deal-flow, across all of the funds we manage”.

In collaboration with Finance Birmingham, Ascension have been investing in Birmingham City Council’s £6m early stage Creative Fund for the past two years, and have been a keen supporter of the ecosystem since 2012. To date, Ascension have invested in over twenty early stage businesses based in and around Birmingham. Their latest deals include a bespoke Vintage Motorcycle brand, Mutt Motorcylces, and Natural HR, a cloud based HR management software company.

Banneya London nominated for Digital Innovation at the Walpole British Luxury Awards


Established in 2001, the Walpole British Luxury Awards are a celebration of exceptional brands and individuals that make the luxury industry the world-leader it is today. The awards were created to honour those who demonstrate excellence in the luxury sector within Britain – where the luxury industry is now worth over £32 billion.

The Walpole British Luxury Awards will take place on Monday 14th of November at The Dorchester.

The event is co-hosted by Walpole CEO Michelle Emmerson, with winners selected by an esteemed judging panel of luxury leaders led by Michael Ward, MD of Harrods and Chairman of Walpole and including Lucia van der Post, Sarah Anderson, (Head of Brand & Partnerships, GREAT Britain Campaign), Peter Ting, Gillian de Bono (FT How to Spend It), Marcus Waring (Restaurateur), and Richard Carter (Rolls-Royce Motor Cars).

The shortlist is as follows:

British Luxury Brand of the Year, in association with Laurent-Perrier
Charlotte Olympia
Charlotte Tilbury
Jimmy Choo
Princess Yachts
Ralph & Russo

Best British Cultural Experience, in association with London Advertising
Fashioning a Reign exhibitions at Her Majesty The Queen’s official residences
Royal Ascot Ladies Day
Tate Modern
Vogue 100 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery
World of Wedgwood

The Champion of British Luxury Manufacturing, in association with G.F Smith
Holland & Holland

Best British Luxury Craftsmanship
Johnstons of Elgin
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Savoir Beds
Simon Rogan
Soane Britain

Digital Innovation in British Luxury
Anya Hindmarch
Banneya London
Magic Mirror

The Champion of British Luxury Overseas, in association with Freight Brokers
Jaguar Land Rover
Johnnie Walker
Soho House Group
Stella McCartney

The Champion of British Luxury Sustainability, in association with Premier Tax Free
House of St Barnabas
Rêve en Vert

The prestigious Leader in Luxury and Outstanding Achievement in British Luxury category winners will be revealed on the night, as will the Walpole 2016 Emerging British Luxury Talents, in association with Mishcon de Reya. Last year’s winners included Victoria Beckham, Goodwood, Charlotte Olympia and Valentino, with the Best Luxury Brand Ambassador award presented to Charlotte Olympia, by British Fashion Model and Writer, Laura Bailey.

Ascension Backs Content Marketing AI, Concured

Ascension is pleased to announce its investment from the ASCEND SEIS Fund III into Concured, a predictive artificial intelligence platform for content marketers that helps solve one of the biggest issues in the $150b industry: “what do I write about to engage my audience”.

Additional backers in the Concured’s round include a list of value-added angels: Potential VC (Doug Scott), Steve Pankhurst (Founder, Friends Reunited), Kerry Ritz (former Managing Director, Mass Challenge), and Phil Wilkinson (Founder, Kelkoo).

Concured has on-boarded a number of clients including Nationwide, Barclays, and TSB.  The company is in late-stage discussions with multiple organisations that are seeking real data on what is contextually engaging their audience and what topics they should create content on next.  The technology Concured uses enables them to gather unstructured data from the customers’ website, publishers and social channels, and gives them contextual meaning.  Then, using a proprietary algorithm and billions of data points, it notices upward trends and displays the guidance in a simple to navigate, but rich dashboard.

Tom Salvat, Founder and CEO of Concured commented:
“I have been working in this industry for over 6 years and truly believe Concured will solve the problem of miscommunication between companies and their audiences.  I see Concured as the missing central puzzle piece that connects all companies together and creates a more transparent and effective content market.  I am delighted to have Ascension on-board pushing us to the next level, with their strategic input and access to multiple potential distribution partners.”

Jean de Fougerolles, CEO of Ascension Ventures added:
“I am tremendously impressed by the way Concured has progressed, they have already won key blue-chip clients in the past few months and have a great pipeline of qualified leads.  It’s always exciting and rewarding when a business, like Concured, starts off on its own and accelerates quickly.  We are excited to be co-investing alongside some great angels and Potential VC, who will add a lot of value on the companies product development with their proven tech expertise, particularly with machine learning.”

Ascension will be announcing further investments from the ASCEND SEIS III over the coming weeks.

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