Paradigm and Founders Fund lead $16 million investment in 3LAU's NFT music platform Royal

Royal, a non-fungible token (NFT) investment platform focused on music, has announced a $16 million seed-stage fundraise.

Founded by electronic dance music artist and NFT proponent 3LAU (real name Justin Blau), Royal gives fans the chance to ‘co-own’ music in the form of a digital asset — and potentially a way to earn royalties alongside artists.

Paradigm and Founders Fund are leading the $16 million seed-stage investment in Blau’s latest project, with participation from Atomic and strategic partners comprised of musicians, crypto professionals and technologists.

“Culture and investing are bleeding together, and crypto is where that’s happening fastest. Justin and JD [JD Ross, Royal’s other co-founder] both live in that intersection,” said Fred Ehrsam, co-founder and managing partner of Paradigm, in a statement. “Royal is the future we are headed to: creators go direct to fans and fans share in the success of creators.”

An early adopter of NFT technology, Blau sold a tokenized album in March of this year for a whopping $11.7 million. 

Blau, CEO and co-founder of Royal, said that Royal aims to change the status quo by turning music “into an asset and creating an incentive for fans to be aligned financially and emotionally with their favorite artists.”

A previous version of this article stated that Blau was a former co-founder of Opendoor and former general partner at Atomic. Royal's other co-founder JD Ross in fact held these positions. The article was updated on October 6 to reflect this.