Beyonce Invests $150K in Concert T-shirt Tech Startup Sidestep
In March, we reported on Sidestep, a new app that allows concertgoers to purchase merchandise before the show so they can avoid the long lines at the venue. Now, Sidestep received a boost in capital and reputation thanks to a $150,000 investment from Beyonce.
Sidestep CEO Eric Jones told TechCrunch that "[Beyonce's team] wanted [her] tour to be very focused on tech," and that the singer liked the idea of a relatively small tech startup being a part of such a large-scale tour.
It's a smart move for Beyonce. After all, with the meager payment that comes from streaming software, like Tidal (in which she also is a stakeholder), selling merchandise and concert tickets is even more important. Now she, along with others who followed suit, like Weezer, Fall Out Boy and Guns N' Roses, might motivate fans to purchase more merchandise if they don't have to worry about a long line.
So far, Sidestep has raised $1.7 million, thanks to investments from other big-name artists, like Jared Leto. The app has made more than $2 million in sales, a 10-fold increase over last year.
With Queen Bey's stamp of approval, it will be interesting to see how many other artists follow her lead and get on the Sidestep bandwagon, and how many apparel merchandisers will bring more of a tech-focus to their sales methods.