VNUE, a small technology company traded on the OTC markets, is acquiring livestreaming platform StageIt, it was announced Thursday (July 29).
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it’s not clear how VNUE is going to finance the acquisition. A recent prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that VNUE only had $57,000 on its balance sheet at the end of March, but CEO Zach Bair has lined up a number of purchase agreements worth as much as $9 million for institutional investors to buy up shares of VNUE traded on the OTC market, often referred to as the pink sheets.
VNUE is considered a penny stock, due to its value being below $5 per share. As of Thursday VNUE shares were trading for $.0126 apiece.
According to a press release announcing the acquisition, StageIt will add over $9 million in revenue to VNUE’s books, which per the SEC only generated $22,404 in 2020 and $2,261 in the first quarter of 2021, likely because of the halt to touring during the pandemic.
VNUE describes itself as a “music technology company that utilizes our platforms to record live concerts, and then sell that content to consumers.” VNUE makes the content it records available for $15-$25 average payment after a live show is finished through its two platforms Set.fm and Soundstr. The Set.fm consumer app platform allows customers to download and purchase audio of live performances on their phone. There are also physical collectible products which are recorded and sold at shows and online through DiscLive Network. Soundstr is a music identification and rights management tool in development that, when fully deployed, “can accurately track and audit public performances of music, creating a more transparent ecosystem for general music licensing and associated royalty payments, which will help ensure the correct stakeholders are compensated through the use of our ‘big data’ collection,” according to a VNUE filing with the SEC. The StageIT product The deal will also enhance VNUE’s music recognition platform Soundstr.
Acquiring StageIt “brings hundreds of thousands of live music fans and complementary technology to VNUE’s portfolio in addition to delivering key pioneering talent in the Music Recognition Technology (MRT) space to VNUE’s roster,” the press release states. Bair did not respond to a request for comment.
The companies expect to close within 60 days pending the completion of due diligence and a required financial audit.
StageIt was launched by musician Evan Lowenstein in 2010 with CEO Stephen White (formerly president of Gracenote and CEO of Dubset Media Holding) joining in 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the platform’s popularity grew with shows from Ramsey Lewis, American Idol star David Archuleta, rock icon Joan Jett, international stars Celtic Thunder, fan favorites Devin Townsend and Rhett Miller and more.
“The StageIt service is complimentary with VNUE’s set.fm ‘instant live’ mobile and web platform, and the company will add a feature that not only allows fans to enjoy a livestream but purchase the audio of the performance immediately afterwards and relive the experience over and over,” a press release announcing the deal explains. “StageIt hosted 6,280 shows in 2020 and paid out over $7M to artists, generating more than $9.2M in gross revenues. The platform has over 58,000 performers and over 900,000 users from 135 countries. The company launched a venue program in 2020 and has a significant set of venue partnerships that include historic venues such as The Bluebird Cafe in Franklin TN, d.b.a. in New Orleans, LA, The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA, and many others.”
With the acquisition, StageIt will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of VNUE.