Trala, the music education app empowering students to learn violin at any age, recently announced that it has raised $8 million as part of its Series A round led by Alexis Ohanian’s firm, Seven Seven Six, with participation from Lachy Groom Fund, Altman Capital, Next Play Ventures, and Concrete Rose Ventures, bringing its total capital raised to $15 million.
With this new fundraising, the Chicago-based firm intends to continue expanding its core offering for learning the violin while exploring additional instrument options.
Founded in 2017 by college roommates Sam Walder and Vishnu Indukuri, Trala provides a platform that combines technology that listens to users play their instruments and provides instant feedback with personalized 1-on-1 lessons from diverse and talented teachers. It has already attracted a diverse group of 1,000 students, including truck drivers, politicians, firefighters, grandmothers, surgeons, construction workers, and more. The startup aims to make world-class music education accessible to everyone on Earth.
With over 600,000 downloads and violin students in 193+ countries, Trala has received support from top musicians and investors at Duolingo and LinkedIn. Trala violin students are surgeons, moms, graphic designers, truck drivers, grandparents, middle schoolers, martial arts teachers, and CEOs. They live and make music in rural Montana, Beirut, Juneau, Perth, and their hometown of Chicago.
Speaking about the investment, the Founder of Seven Seven Six, Alexis Ohanian, said:
I didn’t get far in my childhood piano or saxophone lessons, but that’s probably because I didn’t have Trala. Now I’m 39, hungry to learn to play an instrument finally, and excited that I have Trala to help me.
The platform also offers live video instruction with teachers rather than just pre-recorded classes. It also uses advanced signal processing technology that provides students instant feedback on their rhythm and pitch while practising, which Walder and Indukuri spent a year developing.
Partner of Seven Seven Six, Cristina Georgoulakis, added:
Trala is an incredibly accessible platform for those interested in learning an instrument. By making great music education so widely accessible, especially to those who haven’t typically had access to it, Trala will create a new generation of musicians from all walks of life.
Unlike traditional music lessons, which primarily cater to young children once a week after school and cost hundreds of dollars a session, Trala’s lesson plans can be customized depending on a student’s price point and schedule. Lessons range from $40 for a half-hour and $70 for one-hour sessions. Users can opt for a subscriber plan, which is typically packaged at two or four lessons a month. Its vision is to raise a new generation of musicians that wouldn’t have had access to music education otherwise.
The company believes that global access to excellent music education will allow hundreds of millions of new people to learn an instrument for the first time. This will usher in an “all-ships-rise” moment for the music industry: more musicians, more instrument sales, and more great new music that inspires more people to learn and teach an instrument in a beautiful, virtuous cycle.
Last year, Trala grew by 14X and hired 30 new music teachers. It is also looking forward to providing up to 300 new jobs for musicians over the next two years and continuing to build an incredible community of music teachers and learners.
In 2021, Trala had raised an investment round led by Tech leaders from various well-known companies, including executives from Coinbase, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Apple Ads, DoorDash and VMware. Before that, the online music platform had raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Next Play Ventures led the round with participation from Techstars Ventures, Lachy Groom, Hyde Park Angels, Phoenix Rising, Blue Titan Ventures, Webb Investment Network and Concrete Rose Capital in August 2020.