CultTech Media

CultTech Digest: 1–15 March

Welcome to the CultTech Digest, your go-to source for the latest updates at the intersection of culture and technology. We've got you covered from groundbreaking inventions to innovative projects and high-profile deals to cutting-edge sales. Here's the main news on culttech and AI at the beginning of March 2024.

Investment deals & seed funding

Almost every day, there’s a brand-new startup emerging on the scene. Millions of dollars are being raised in seed funding; fresh ideas attract investors and vice versa. We will tell you about major investment deals happening within the realm of culttech and highlight the most promising projects on the rise.

Un:hurd, artist marketing platform, lands a funding round to enhance its AI-powered tools

Most artists use labels to help them promote their releases. Some, of course, stay independent and try to do the marketing themselves—these days, there are at least enough undemanding tools that any musician can use. Un: Hurd is a great example of such a tool—a platform that offers an algorithm-driven marketing solution that highlights key digital opportunities for artists looking to build their fanbases. Basically, it uses AI and other implemented tools to create promotional campaigns for artists (and labels, too).

In late February 2024, Un:Hurd reported completing a new six-figure strategic funding round, which included many investments by musicians: for instance, Nigerian artist/record exec Mr Eazi and Dutch DJ/producer Sam Feldt participated.

Now, the company will be putting the new funds towards the rollout of a suite of new tools for artists and labels. Amongst them is an AI-driven marketing assistant capable of helping artists improve their marketing campaigns through suggestions for content, comprehensive marketing plans and release schedules. Another feature would be a ‘fun hub’ — a tool that will allow artists to collect owned data about their fans through websites.

Founded in 2021, the company says it has built a customer base of more than 70,000 artists — including more established artists such as Nigerian superstar Mr Eazi and Grammy-nominated Tayla Parx. In 2023, Un:hurd helped generate 81 million streams on Spotify alone. Here’s what un:hurd founder Alex Brees says on the future plans of the startup:
We’ve spent a lot of time speaking to our 70,000-strong community of artists from 129 countries, and this suite of new features has been created to provide even more power to artists.

From using AI to create a marketing strategy or content ideas, to running automated ads on TikTok or collecting fan data via your fan hub, we can now be your virtual marketing team, facilitating and enhancing the most important marketing activities for artists.

Haiper, a video-generative AI startup, lands $13.8m seed

You’ve heard about video generative tools. Basically, they work the same way as any AI-driven platform—you give them the prompt, and they give you a product. So, with video-generative platforms, you take the role of a screenwriter—feed in the plot, the setting, the references—and hope for the best outcome.

The biggest news in the video generative world happened a month ago — when OpenAI introduced Sora. But while it’s not yet available to the public, there’s some other news in the same market: a startup called Haiper came out of stealth mode, announcing a $13.8 million seed round led by Octopus Ventures.

Haiper was founded in late 2021 in London by Dr Yishu Miao and Dr Ziyu Wang (CTO), both with PhDs in Machine Learning from Oxford University and former Researchers at DeepMind, reports. The product that the company offers is suitable for publishers, studios and individuals — and it is already available to everyone. Here’s what Dr Yishu Miao said on the future goals of Haiper:
Our end goal is to build an AGI with full perceptual abilities, which has boundless potential to assist with creativity. Our visual foundation model will be a leap forward in AI’s ability to deeply understand the physics of the world and replicate the essence of reality in the videos it generates.

Such advancements lay the groundwork for AI that can understand, embrace, and enhance human storytelling.

Our time in stealth was spent building up crucial distributed data processing and model training infrastructure, which we’re excited to use this funding to scale.


Gamestream, a gaming company from France, raises €4.5m. Among their partners are Disney Interactive and Outright Games

Gamestream, a cloud gaming company from France, announced it had raised €4.5 million in funding. The investments came from Audacia and Bpifrance (which backed Aqemia, Eligo Bioscience, and Electra) via its Tech and Touch fund.

Founded by Ivan Lebeau and Xavier Cavin in 2019, Gamestream offers a Cloud Gaming platform which provides gamers with a streaming experience that requires only three megabits of bandwidth. Their platform is available on PC, TV, and mobile.

Gamestream's cloud gaming platform is deployed in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and India, but now, after the funding’s secured, it’s planning to expand towards other territories: for instance, West Africa.

Here’s how Ivan Lebeau, co-founder and President of Gamestream, explained the importance of cloud gaming and Gamestream’s role within it (as well as the situation in the market):
There is less competition from American giants in these countries, even though the need is great.

Few people can afford to buy a console, and even fewer can afford games for €70 each. Therefore, the demand for Cloud Gaming is high, and for just a few euros a month, players can access unlimited console quality licenses from their computer, tablet or smartphone. This new fundraising will allow us to further impose this model on the international scene.

Gamer Arena, Türkiye's largest Web3 gaming platform, receives investments from Domino Ventures

Gamer Arena is a Turkish competitive gaming platform — it allows players to match and compete across a sizeable number of video games, one-on-one or in teams, allowing them to test skill and versatility. The games that Gamer Arena works with include FIFA, Clash Royale, PUBG and many more.

The platform has more than 500,000 users and over 700 tournaments. Recently, it announced closing an investment deal with Domino Ventures. After the deal, Gamer Arena received a $6 million evaluation.

Current Gamer Arena partners include Krafton, Atari, and The Sandbox. With Domino Ventures’ investment adding further support, Gamer Arena will be able to fund its development of new AI-based products—working to position itself within the games industry’s latest crazes, Web3 and AI, Aaron Astle reports for

Astle adds that Domino Ventures’, a VC based in the Netherlands, are well-known for its support of startups in Central Asia, Eastern Europe and, of course, Turkey. The fund is focusing its investments on AI, gaming and Web3 companies, of which Gamer Arena happens to comprise all three.

Source: /

Other news in culttech

A ChatGPT for Music Is Here. Inside Suno, the Startup Changing Everything

Rolling Stone's Brian Hiatt delves into the world of AI with the example of Suno — a startup that's one of the best players in this segment. Since Rolling Stone is not really a tech media, this article is not just a regular overview of startup N's success, but rather an anthropological essay on the very issue. Why are the founders so fascinated with creating AI-driven music? What motivates them? It may be a profile on Suno, but it actually says a lot about the time we all live in.

Read more: Rolling Stone