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10K Projects launches 10K Ventures, plans to invest up to $1m of initial capital into each company it supports

Elliot Grainge-founded Los Angeles-based independent record label 10K Projects has launched 10K Ventures powered by PlayWRK, an initiative to back early-stage founders that integrate within the music ecosystem.

The new initiative will be powered by PlayWRK which operates as a Venture Capital-as-a-service (VCaaS), one of the fastest growing VC models.

Maggie Sellers, the co-founding partner of PlayWRK, who was previously Head of Artist Development & Brand Strategy at Electric Feel Entertainment.

With co-founders, Justin Germaine and Alex Sarkissian, who previously held investment banking, real estate investment and corporate finance/strategy roles, 10K Projects says that the trio of execs offer a unique skillset to their portfolio companies.

10K Ventures powered by PlayWRK plans to invest $100,000 to $1,000,000 of initial capital into each of the growing portfolio of companies it supports.

It says that it has already made a “handful of investments” including in men’s grooming brand Faculty World, the fast-growing RTD cocktail, Ohza, and the sunglass company, FutureMood.

Since making these investments, 10K says that each company has “experienced significant tangible growth”.

Ohza will expand to 600 Target locations at the start of 2022, supplementing their presence in Whole Foods, BevMo, Total Wine, Wegmans, and Hannaford.

10K Projects powered by PlayWRK also recently made a significant investment in Wonder Works Studios, the gaming studio creating immersive experiences within the Roblox metaverse.

The investment is expected to create opportunities for 10K artists to build unique fan experiences within the Roblox environment.

Elliot Grainge, 10K Projects

“I’ve long wanted to create an investment vehicle at 10K that backs early-stage direct-to-consumer and tech companies that have natural synergies with music and entertainment.”

Elliot Grainge

“I’ve long wanted to create an investment vehicle at 10K that backs early-stage direct-to-consumer and tech companies that have natural synergies with music and entertainment,” said Elliot Grainge.

“The team at PlayWRK has shown a remarkable ability to identify innovative business concepts and leverage their years of expertise across entertainment, brand operations, finance and fund management, to identify opportunities for us to invest in ways that help connect our artists with new fans in innovative ways.”

“Combining my brand operator, partnership and entertainment background was a natural progression to co-founding PlayWRK with Alex and Justin and partnering with Elliot and 10K Projects to power 10K Ventures.”

Maggie Sellers

Maggie Sellers added: “Combining my brand operator, partnership and entertainment background was a natural progression to co-founding PlayWRK with Alex and Justin and partnering with Elliot and 10K Projects to power 10K Ventures.

“Bringing innovative brands, concepts and ideas to the artist ecosystem after holistic due diligence is not something you often see.

“This out-of-the-box VCaaS approach combined with the entrepreneurial environment that Elliot has built at 10K Projects is the dream scenario for record label innovation, true artist development and creative control for artists to see their creative visions through.”

“We feel music is the biggest opportunity in the metaverse, as it allows people from all over the globe to enjoy an artist’s performance regardless of location, cost, or scheduling limitations.”

Zachary Letter, Wonder Works Studios

Zachary Letter, CEO of Wonder Works Studios, said: “Virtual experiences are quickly becoming the premium way to experience many forms of entertainment.

“We feel music is the biggest opportunity in the metaverse, as it allows people from all over the globe to enjoy an artist’s performance regardless of location, cost, or scheduling limitations.

“The support and guidance we’re receiving from 10K Ventures and PlayWRK has been invaluable. We’re in the driver’s seat of this new and exciting ecosystem with limitless possibilities to host artist metaverse experiences without running into our previously experienced sync and licensing issues.”

“We’ve already seen the direct impact these investments have had on opportunities for our artists to amplify their voices, engage with fans, and innovate on traditional project marketing strategies.”

Theo Battaglia, 10K Projects

Theo Battaglia, EVP of Creative at 10K Projects, said: “Introducing 10K Ventures powered by PlayWRK to bridge the gap between developing artists and brands is a direct reflection of 10K Projects’ entire ethos; innovation, true artist development, and the protection of complete creative freedom for artists.

“We’ve already seen the direct impact these investments have had on opportunities for our artists to amplify their voices, engage with fans, and innovate on traditional project marketing strategies.”Music Business Worldwide

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