Beatrobo lets you share music using cute robot avatars
June 7, 2012 by Terence LEE
Adorable robots are not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a music sharing app.
That could change, if Beatrobo becomes immensely successful. Founded in February 2012, the Japanese startup has tickled music lovers with its quirky take on sharing music.
Upon signing up using Facebook Connect, users can design their robot avatar by customizing the facial features and color. They can then see which of their fans are using Beatrobo, as well as the avatars that represent them.
More items can be unlocked once their robot levels up, which is achieved by listening to music and doing activities in Beatrobo.
Accompanying the user’s robot is a playlist, which they can add songs to by searching YouTube from within the app or selecting their favorite track from their friend’s playlist.
While popular online music services like Rdio and Spotify emphasize their ability to let users listen to music whenever and wherever they like, Beatrobo is more focused on social sharing. Not only can music lovers share tracks with their friends, they can also talk about these songs.
“We are trying to bring back the culture where you can find new music in a passive manner, like your friends telling you about a new song, or lending you a CD they listened to,” explains founder and CEO Hiroshi Asaeda, a Japanese serial entrepreneur who has started two other companies.
Together with three other co-founders, Hiroshi has secured a seed round of US$612,500 in 30th March this year.
Recently, Beatrobo was declared the winner of the Japanese Satellite of Echelon 2012, a leading technology startup conference in Asia that will be held in Singapore that will be held from 11th to 12th June. They will be pitching on stage as the top ten finalist for the region.
The web app is currently free-to-use, with a mobile version coming soon. They’re also working to generate revenue through a variety of sources, namely: Ads, membership plans, partnerships, and the sales of gadgets.
Beatrobo’s key challenge will be to get enough users in order to generate substantial revenue.
Hiroshi claims to have amassed 10,000 users so far, although he did not explain what ‘users’ meant. A check on Facebook, however, shows that Beatrobo apparently has 700 monthly users connected onto the social network. At the moment of writing, users can only use Beatrobo with a Facebook account.
Another point to take note of: When I tried out the app, I found the user interface somewhat confusing. It took me too long to figure out how to use the service properly, or find the features I want.
Looks like the team still has some polishing up to do.
Beatrobo is a top ten finalist at Echelon 2012 and the winner of the Japan Satellite event. Organized by tech blog e27 for the third year running, Echelon 2012 is a key startup launchpad in Asia with over 1,100 delegates in attendance and 50 startups exhibiting in the Marketplace. Check out SGE’s coverage of Echelon 2012.
Find out more about SGE’s research arm: SGE Insights, providing customized in-depth research reports to help you navigate the business of technology in Asia.
About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE