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Fintech company Slingshot raises $2.2 million

Sanil Chawla remembers meeting countless artists during his college years. These creative minds were all looking for one thing: a sustainable economic infrastructure that could help them scale up, rather than drowning them in paperwork, documentation, and tracking receipts.

Chawla thought he might have found a solution, and in 2020 he launched a music monetization platform. During the pandemic, he transformed the company into what it is today: Slingshot, which helps creatives find the tools they need to manage operational needs. It even offers its own corporate card to help further centralize financial transactions onto its platform.

“Today, too many talented creators are forced to spend a significant amount of time navigating the complex financial and business challenges of being self-employed,” Chawla told TechCrunch. “Our goal is to use technology to dramatically simplify these tasks, allowing creatives to focus on what they love.”

The company announced on Monday that it had raised $2.2 million in seed funding from Dorm Room Fund, 1916 Enterprises, Key Partners Group, and angel investor Vincent Francouer, former head of web and mobile at Blizzard.

Slingshot emerged amid the burgeoning $250 billion creator economy, but it’s not the first company to try to build infrastructure for the burgeoning creator economy. The company says it differentiates itself by centralizing its capabilities and data to offer automated bookkeeping services tied to its business cards. The company is also working with banks to facilitate financial transactions, allowing creators to manage funds, make transfers, and take payments. Its primary BaaS partner for customer accounts is Stripe, which offers services through its Treasury and Issuing programs.

Product image of Slingshot.

It also offers other features, such as letting creatives save a percentage of their income and providing benefits like healthcare and retirement. It acts like an HR department, handling legal documents and tax filings. Chawla, 24, said it took the company four years to raise pre-seed funding because it raised money in tranches. It received a smaller angel investment in 2020 before moving to its current version in 2023.

Slingshot started out as a company that provided legal and financial infrastructure to musicians, helping them grow their audience without a record label while still letting artists control the majority of their royalties. The company raised $50,000 from that idea, then another $1.2 million to build it. In late 2022, the company pivoted. Its customers wanted more financial products, and Slingshot followed suit. It then raised another $1 million in funding last year and this year to get the company to where it is today.

Looking ahead, Slingshot has ambitious plans. The company intends to raise money again next year, using $2.2 million in pre-seed funding to enhance its capabilities. This includes developing an AI assistant that aims to revolutionize the way creatives manage their operations. Chawla said providing better tools and infrastructure for the creative economy could help enable more creativity and diverse artistic expression. “We’re still in the early stages, but I’m encouraged by the impact we’ve had so far and the potential to do more in the future,” he said.

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