A potential music-related acquisition target

Bambi Francisco Roizen · November 17, 2008 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/534

Venrock's Brian Ascher is our guest host, evaluating LyricFind

  Sponsored by:


When I was growing up, it was commonplace to get lyrics as part of an album or CD. Without those lyrics, how could I possibly sing along to the songs? Today, I rarely buy albums. Rather, I buy singles on iTunes or download singles from Napster. If I really care, I Google the lyrics.

There is a database, however, of 800,000 lyrics on the Internet. The provider is LyricFind, a company that's been around since 2000 and licenses lyrics to CBS' Last.fm, RealNetworks' Rhapsody, Shazam, and many others.

In this segment of Vator Box, brought to you by Liquid Scenarios, Venrock venture capitalist Brian Ascher is our guest host. Ezra Roizen joins me as always. 

All of us liked the company and felt it was definitely an acquisition candidate, partly because its database of lyrics is a key component to music offerings.

Both Brian and Ezra had great suggestions for LyricFind, including:

1) Looking at Gracenote as an example of a company that provides music-related offerings, such as MusicID, which detecs a song and provides corresponding artist and album names. Understand the dynamics that worked there, as well as the network effects it was able to pull off. Gracenote was acquired by Sony for $260 million earlier this year.

2) Consider creating a Wikipedia-like model to aggregate a larger database of lyrics.

3) Besides being a B2B play, create a consumer site and leverage the 800,000 lyrics to drive up search engine optimization. To this end, LyricFind could attract transients as they Google lyrics. 


As for our Liquid Scenarios Minute, here it is:

LyricFind has raised $50,000, and is in the process of raising its first venture round. Acquisition-related analogs in the space include IMBD, acquired in 1998 by Amazon.com, as part of a three-company purchase totalling $55 million, All Media Guide Holdings, bought by Macrovision less than a year ago for $82 million and at the high end, Gracenote, which was bought by Sony for $260 million. 

A key venture-funded company in the space is Soundflavor, which has also been around for a while, receiving an angel round of $2 million in January 2003, and a Series A of $3.8 million in December 2005. Soundflavor has a strong management team, with a history of successful ventures and exits. However, LyricFind's history in the space is longer, originally founded in 2000. And, its cost structure is leaner. This is consistent with successful exits in the space, such as IMDB.

Over the eight-year period, the founder has navigated agreements with major labels, industry associations and a growing collection of top tier licensees. If LyricFind can limit its raise to $2 million in angel funding at a $4 million to $6 million pre-money valuation, founders can exit with seven digits and seed investors will average a 5X return if the company sells for $20 million. That's the Liquid Scenarios Minute.

(Liquid Scenarios provides exit valuation scenario reports)

(Programming Note: We are now focusing on one company per each Vator Box. Upcoming companies highlighted, in which Venrock's Ascher is our guest host include, Buzznet, Yollege, and Glam Media. Be sure to check in to see when those episodes go up. And, our upcoming guest hosts include Google's Marissa Mayer and Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus)

Image Description

Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

All author posts

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Vator Box" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

LyricFind provides song lyrics content to digital music services, web sites, mobile services, and more. LyricFind has aggregated licensing from over 2,000 music publishers (including all major publishers), resulting in a catalogue of over 1,500,000 available tracks.


LyricFind provides both Lyrics Search and Lyric Display services to companies of all sizes and types, in both free and paid models.



Joined Vator on

Buzznet.com is a vibrant social media destination representing the next evolution of social networking.

Buzznet distinguishes itself from traditional media sites and social networks that are focused on profile pages and communication tools by enabling Web users to program dynamic multimedia communities around the music and pop culture topics they are most passionate about.

More authentic, content rich and frequently updated than a website, and more interactive than a blog, Buzznet's integrated media and community platform allows its users to network like never before with leading bands, trendsetters and their peers through self-created content, videos, photos and journals. This unique user-centric approach has attracted more than 10 million users who program, by contributing, combining, providing context and connectivity, making Buzznet a top destination for people seeking the most current and authentic content and news.

Glam Media


Joined Vator on


The founders of Glam Media created a new media model to bring brand advertisers to vertical audiences online:  vertical content networks. Today, Glam Media—with its Glam.com (women) and Brash.com (men) networks—is the fastest growing Top 10 media Web property in the U.S. with a total reach of 52.3 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S. and approximately 90 million uniques globally. Glam Media recently entered the comScore Top 10 Web properties list and is also a Top 10 Display Ad Publisher. With 700 sites total, Glam Media is composed of: Glam.com—a carefully curated network of popular and influential lifestyle women’s Web sites, blogs and magazines; and Brash.com—the newly launched all men’s network. Glam Media is backed by Hubert Burda Media, GLG Partners, Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Walden Venture Capital and Information Capital. Glam Media is headquartered in New York City and Silicon Valley, California, with international offices in London, Munich, Berlin, and Tokyo.



Joined Vator on

YOLLEGE is an exciting student driven college review site that empowers college students across the nation to finally have a voice. With current and relevant reviews on a wide range of topics for every College, you’ll be provided with true perspective.

YOLLEGE is the ultimate college guide that taps into the student body's voice and reveals current and genuine insights on every aspect of college from dorm life to local hot spots.

Brian Ascher

Joined Vator on


Ezra Roizen

Joined Vator on

Advisor-to and commenter-on emerging ventures