Sunday 25 September 2016

Guitar legends Fender snap up Irish music start-up for €5m

Published 10/05/2015 | 02:30

Fender, whose guitars were played by rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix (pictured), is thought to be paying around €5m for Irish music software company Riffstation
Fender, whose guitars were played by rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix (pictured), is thought to be paying around €5m for Irish music software company Riffstation

Electric guitar manufacturer Fender is buying Irish music software company Riffstation.

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The iconic US business, whose guitars were played by rock legends Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen and Keith Richards, is thought to be paying around €5m for the Irish start-up.

It represents another move into the digital arena for the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, which already counts U2's Bono and The Edge on its board of directors.

Riffstation's software helps guitarists to learn new music by allowing them to isolate the chords in any song and slow them down. It can extract chords even from brand new songs that have not been heard before.

Riffstation was set up in 2010 by Dan Barry and Mikel Gainza, who were unavailable for comment. Both have lectured at Dublin Institute of Technology.

By selling to Fender, Riffstation joins one of the world's most iconic guitar companies.

Formed in 1946, it is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. While not the first company to manufacture electric guitars, it was the first to bring the instrument to the masses.

Its most popular guitars include the Stratocaster and Telecaster.

It has changed hands several times in recent decades and is now owned by investment firm TPG Growth.

Bono and the Edge joined its board of directors last year. The Edge is a long-time fan of the company's guitars, while U2 bass guitar player Adam Clayton collaborated with the company to build a signature bass guitar in 2011.

Some of U2's most popular songs, including Sunday Bloody Sunday and Pride (In the Name of Love), were recorded using Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters.

The company is making a clear effort to build up a digital arm under new chief executive Bob Roback.

He is setting up a new Los Angeles office to expand the company's marketing and digital offerings.

Sunday Indo Business

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