Music licensing venture lands Rackspace founder as investor, advisor

Splother planning cloud move, eyes blue-chip partnership

Young music technology company Splother has received a big-name endorsement in the form of one of the founders of cloud-computing leader Rackspace.

Dirk Elmendorf this summer invested an undisclosed amount of development cash in Splother, which markets click-to-pay mechanical and sync licensing of music for films, televison, advertising and product placement to music supervisors, brand managers and creative directors. The company this May moved out of the Entrepeneur Center downtown after spending six months developing its plans and product.

"Dirk is the great technological advisor that we've always needed," said co-founder Dave Durocher of Elmendorf, who is now Splother's lead investor.

Durocher and fellow founders Jason Collins and Steve Toland first approached Elmendorf last November at a TechStars event in San Antonio, where Elmendorf was a mentor and speaker. Since then, Splother has roughly doubled the number of artists it markets to about 1,500 and prepared itself to move its operations to a new platform and to a cloud-based system.

"I've seen several companies try to attack the problem of music licensing from a purely technological point of view," said Elmendorf in a statement. "What makes Splother so exciting is that they bring real music industry experience to the table. I believe that they have the experience and technology to make being a musician in the modern age a viable profession."

One of the original Rackspace coders, Elmendorf also has helped build a Splother product demo that could provide a big break. The demo would integrate Splother's licensing tools into the Final Cut Pro video editing software developed by Apple and the Splother team has shared their idea with Apple officials, who Durocher said showed some preliminary interest.