Block Acquires Music Fintech Startup Hifi

Published 8 months ago
  Block Inc.

Block, formerly Square, has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of Hifi, a music-focused fintech startup. This move marks a further investment in the music tech industry by the Jack Dorsey-founded company.

Hifi Joins Block

The acquisition was announced by Hifi founder and CEO, Damian Manning. The company seeks to further its shared aim of economic empowerment with Block, using the financial technologies and services they’ve developed to aid artists in thriving. Hifi’s website has been updated to reflect the recent partnership.

Hifi, launched in 2020, operates as a financial rights organization for artists. Its platform allows users to monitor their royalty income through a comprehensive dashboard. The dashboard aggregates data from multiple sources, including music labels, distribution services, music publishers, and Performing Rights Organizations (PROs). Recently, Hifi introduced a royalty acceleration service named “Cash Flow,” which provides artists with a bi-monthly salary.

Block’s Second Venture into Music Tech

This acquisition marks Block’s second venture into the music tech space. The fintech company previously purchased the music streaming service Tidal in 2021. However, Tidal was facing financial difficulties at the time of purchase and was under investigation in Norway for alleged manipulation of its streaming numbers. The acquisition was criticized by Chancellor Kathaleen Saint Jude McCormick as a “terrible business decision.”

Aside from its ventures into music tech, Block also owns a range of other businesses. These include the mobile payment service Cash App, the buy-now-pay-later platform Afterpay, Spiral (formerly Square Crypto), and web builder Weebly.