Rhapsody Creators' New StartupJustin Hibbard
Four-month-old SingShot Media, Inc. describes itself as an Internet-based talent platform centered around karaoke. Founders/directors Ranah Edelin, Niranjan Nagar, and Sean Ryan were execs at Listen.com, which built the Rhapsody music service and was bought by Real Networks, Inc. in 2003 for $36 million. San Francisco-based SingShot raised $1 million in February from Bellevue (Wash.)-based Transcosmos Investments Inc. (TCI), the VC arm of Japanese IT outsourcing firm Transcosmos Inc. Since the late '90s, TCI has quietly invested in several well-known U.S. Internet startups--including Listen.com, Junglee, MySimon, Pheedo, Buzznet, Edgeio, etc.--and has helped many of them crack the Japanese market. No doubt an online karaoke service could be a big hit in the country that invented the form of drunken sing-along entertainment. Sign me up to butcher Alphaville's "Big in Japan."