Apr 21, 2023
The Sound of Success: Band Industries' Impact on Music and Technology
Band Industries, one of our SOS Fund's portfolio companies under IM Ventures through USAID Lebanon Investment Initiative (LII), has been making waves in the music and technology industry; and we are thrilled to bring you an exclusive Q&A session.
In this interview, we delve into the company's successes and aspirations, and get a glimpse of what it takes to grow and thrive as a startup in today's fast-paced business landscape. So let's dive into the conversation with Band Industries' Co-Founder & CEO, Hassane Slaibi.
Q: Tell us more about Band Industries and its flagship product.
A: Band Industries is a music technology startup based in Lebanon and the US. It is renowned worldwide for the line of Roadie Automatic Guitar Tuners and more recently for Roadie Coach, a novel Recorder, Music Tutor, and Midi Controller.
The original Roadie Tuner debuted in 2014. It came from a simple need of the founders to tune their musical instruments and grew to a set of tools designed to benefit music practice and performance.
The company’s work has been featured on hundreds of media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Guitar World, Engadget, and TechCrunch. It is endorsed by music legends from bands like U2, Queen, Tim McGraw, Heart, etc.
Roadie products are currently sold in over 120 countries including all major music stores: Sweetwater, Thomann, Guitar Center, Bax Shop, Shimamura, Amazon and others.
Q: What role do you think creativity plays in driving innovation and progress?
A: As startup founders, our responsibility is to think about the future we want to build. All Roadie products have the power to fundamentally change how people experience and grow their musicianship. This is the largest global good within our power to push forward, as a more musically creative population is an inarguably positive influence on societies around the world.
Q: What impact do you think your creative work has had on your industry?
A: Band Industries came from a simple need shared by two talented engineers who also happened to play music. A desire to tune their own instruments grew into a mission to tune everyone’s instrument. This resulted in a line of automatic instrument tuners, the flagship of which is Roadie 3. It can tune any instrument with a guitar-style machine head rapidly, accurately and to any tuning that exists. It also has cool features like a vibrating metronome and restring mode, so it is a bit like a Swiss army knife for your kit bag.
Q: Can you provide an outline of USAID's assistance through the SOS Fund?
A: SOS Fund’s participation in our Series A round has allowed us to innovate and continue building the Roadie Coach platform at a time of crisis and uncertainty in Lebanon. SOS Fund is backed by USAID and their contribution extended well beyond the closing of the investment into valuable mentorship and opening up an excellent network for us.
Q: In what ways has the assistance enabled you to reach new audiences or markets? And how did it impact the success of your business?
A: SOS Fund connected us to a network of young professionals in the fields of product management and marketing. We learned a lot and implemented those learnings in Roadie Coach.
Q: How has Band Industries grown and what factors have contributed to this growth?
A: We are a team of 20 creatives and engineers based in Lebanon and the US. Most of us are also seasoned musicians and educators. We are all young and intensely interested in the nexus of music and technology. The durability and performance of our latest tuner, Roadie 3, has been a wild success, earning 4.4 stars on Amazon.com with over 1,400 reviews.