Press Clipping
Tencent backs digital rights startup Pex in $57M spherical

Pex, a startup aiming to offer rightsholders extra management over how their content material is used and reused on-line, has raised $57 million in new funding.

The spherical comes from present traders together with Susa Ventures and Illuminate Ventures, in addition to Tencent, Tencent Music Leisure, the CueBall Group, NexGen Ventures Companions, Amaranthine and others.

Based in 2014, Pex had beforehand raised $7 million, and it acquired music rights startup Dubset final 12 months. Founder and CEO Rasty Turek instructed me that whereas the product has developed from what he described as “a Google-like search engine for rightsholders to seek out copyright infringement” right into a broader platform, the imaginative and prescient of making a greater system of managing copyright and funds on-line has remained the identical.

The startup describes its Attribution Engine because the “licensing infrastructure for the Web,” bringing collectively the people and corporations who personal content material rights, creators who would possibly need to license and remix that content material, the massive digital platforms the place content material will get shared and the legislation enforcement companies that need to monitor all of this.

The product contains six modules — an asset registry, a system for figuring out these property after they’re utilized in new content material, a licensing system, a dispute decision system, a cost system and information and reporting to see how your content material is getting used.

Turek stated that whereas Pex is being utilized by “many of the largest rightsholders on the planet,” the system was constructed to be accessible to “a struggling musician out on the streets of Los Angeles” who doesn’t have the assets to “police all of this content material” on-line.
Pex CEO Rasty Turek

Pex CEO Rasty Turek. Picture Credit: Pex

He additionally advised that the broader regulatory surroundings is asking for an answer like Pex, with the European Union passing a brand new copyright directive that’s set to take impact this 12 months, and new copyright laws additionally on the desk in the US. The EU invoice was criticized for doubtlessly prompting bigger platforms to preemptively block broad swaths of content material, however Turek argued, “There’s a lot content material on the market seeking an viewers that that is going to be the alternative of overblocking.”

Not that Pex is relying fully on regulators. Turek additionally stated the platform is structured to steadiness the wants of the totally different teams utilizing it — and that it has an incentive to strike that steadiness as a result of its income comes from licensing offers, so it’s centered on “actually being the Switzerland, actually being the impartial occasion.”

“We designed all of our enterprise round the concept that if we attempt to abuse the system, we lose, too,” he stated. “We don’t generate income [when someone] abuses the system, we solely generate income when all people performs good.”

Turek additionally claimed that public area and Artistic Commons licenses are “first-class residents” on the platform, and that lots of the rightsholders utilizing the Attribution Engine don’t essentially need financial compensation: “Lots of people are completely satisfied to do that for recognition. We’re social animals.” (Plus, recognition can result in moneymaking alternatives.)

Pex says the brand new funding will enable it to proceed scaling the Attribution Engine.

“I don’t imagine investments are validation,” Turek added. “I imagine they’re extra obligation than validation, however they do show you might be directionally right.”