Tencent backs digital rights startup Pex in $57M round

Pex, a startup aiming to giving rightsholders more control over how their content is used and reused online, has raised $57 million in new funding.

The round comes from existing investors including Susa Ventures and Illuminate Ventures, as well as Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment, the CueBall Group, NexGen Ventures Partners, Amaranthine and others.

Founded in 2014, Pex had previously raised $7 million, and it acquired music rights startup Dubset last year. Founder and CEO Rasty Turek told me that while the product has evolved from what he described as “a Google-like search engine for rightsholders to find copyright infringement” into a broader platform, the vision of creating a better system of managing copyright and payments online has remained the same.

The startup describes its Attribution Engine as the “licensing infrastructure for the Internet,” bringing together the individuals and companies who own content rights, creators who might want to license and remix that content, the big digital platforms where content gets shared and the law enforcement agencies that want to monitor all of this.

The product includes six modules — an asset registry, a system for identifying those assets when they’re used in new content, a licensing system, a dispute resolution system, a payment system and data and reporting to see how your content is being used.

Turek said that while Pex is being used by “most of the largest rightsholders in the world,” the system was built to be accessible to “a struggling musician out on the streets (Read more...)