Canadian Concert Startup Side Door Raises $3mln

By Nicholas Say Nicholas Say has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on July 5, 2021

Canadian startup Side Door has raised US$3 million. Side Door co-founder Dan Mangan said he wants to see 100,000 artists that people have rarely or never heard of making $100,000 a year.

The new funding round led by Vancouver-based Rhino Ventures will help the company expand its influence into a wider number of spaces globally.

Dan Mangan and co-founder Laura Simpson are finding a way to connect touring artists with concert organizers who present shows in unique spaces such as living rooms, backyards, town halls or bookstores. Mangan has won two Juno Awards.

Side Door was founded in 2017 with the aim of providing artists and organizers with the tools to produce their own “any space is a place” events. These shows create a strong connection between the artists and their fanbase.

About 90% of the shows supported by Side Door are concerts but the service can also be used to show dance, comedy and theater productions.

Laura Simpson is an expert in the music industry. She is the one to start giving home concerts in 2011 which are intimate performances by professional musicians often performed in private residences.

Simpson believes that concerts like these are the only places where artists can actually make money. Mangan is currently a working musician and is based in Vancouver. He is currently signed to Toronto’s indie label Arts & Crafts.

To Mangan and Simpson’s mind, Side Door doesn’t actually compete with traditional concert promoters and venue operators. In fact, they work with emerging and middle-class artists. Side Door’s show was first held in 2017.

The smallest performances with a capacity of about 15 people will take place in the living room of CEO Simpson. It gives artists and fans access to even more performance opportunities.

Side Door employs more than a dozen employees specializing in technical development, customer support and contacts with approximately 5,000 artists and 2,000 presenters.

By Nicholas Say Nicholas Say has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Nicholas Ross Say is a news desk editor at Grit Daily. An award-winning journalist, he covers the daily startup beat. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has lived in South America and South East Asia. At present, Nicholas lives in Southern Vietnam where the Sun shines, and the noodles flow like wine. He's written for Blockonomi and Coin Journal, among others.

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