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Grooveme tunes up for a big hit

Virtual gig group is eyeing a market listing next year
Grooveme tunes up for a big hit
Grooveme uses Abbey Road studios to recreate the top tunes of yesteryear

Just like the musical classics it brings back to life, Grooveme is fast becoming a big hit.

The company has been forging ahead with its business of using 3D holograms to recreate the top tunes of yesteryear.

Since he spoke to Proactive Investors last year, serial entrepreneur Alex Worrall and his team have wasted no time in taking the business to the next level.

Grooveme has now taken on 15-20 artists for its virtual gigs and is eyeing a market listing either next spring or autumn 2017.

Worrall has set up several successful businesses including Helius Energy and D1 Oils.

Helius made a £35mln profit in its third year of existence and eventually was worth £75mln.

But he said: “This will be bigger than anything I’ve ever been involved in.”

Grooveme uses hologram technology to digitally recreate acts loved by music fans worldwide.

It was developed almost as a by-product of a process used to convert 2D movies to 3D, but also draws on some neat US technology.

The concept started as a box that was initially two feet high, but has morphed into something larger and more impressive.

Grooveme plans to generate three different models – high end, mid-range and budget products.

The largest ‘box’ will be the size of a transport container that could fit on the back of a lorry.

Equipped with special effects, the images themselves will be streamed from the cloud. They could be sited in the lobbies of hotels, nightclubs or even casinos.

The mid-market offering will be marketed as an advanced karaoke machine, while the budget model will likely be used for weddings in lieu of a band.

Grooveme does royalty deals with the stars and brings them into the famous Abbey Road studios in London – used by the Beatles, of course - to re-record their hits.

The 15-20 acts and 50 songs now on board include the likes of Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel.

The Damned and Eddy Grant are next on the list for a digital rebirth and Worrall hopes to have another 100 acts on the books by the time Grooveme floats next year.

The venture has some influential backers. Boomtown Rat and Live Aid co-creator Bob Geldof – who set up the production companies Planet 24 and Ten Alps - is a shareholder.

Also on board is Sarah Willingham, creator of the Bombay Bicycle Club chain of restaurants, and the latest member of the Dragon's Den team.

Talking of Bombay, Grooveme is moving further afield with plans to expand into India, China and Japan.

Worrall says there are 140,000 karaoke operators in Japan alone which could use its technology to revolutionise their businesses.

It is also looking at expansion in Europe and the US, where clubs in holiday hotspots such as Ibiza and casinos in Las Vegas are potential targets.

Grooveme hopes to have its technology in about 200 pubs and clubs by the start of next year and is also targeting festivals and cruise operators.

The company, currently valued at about £25mln, is just completing a £5mln fund-raising, which it will use to invest in more acts and songs.

Grooveme has investors in India and also hopes to exploit the massive market for its product there by getting Bollywood stars and even politicians on board.

Worrall said: “We’re going to take them to villages in India where they could never otherwise be seen. This thing is in a different league.”

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