Startup of the Day: Harmix, Ukraine’s AI-powered music selection service

Founded by Nazar Ponochevnyi, Harmix is an AI-based service that automatically selects the right music for your video. For this, the algorithm analyzes the objects, mood, activity, and dynamics of the video. 

Harmix’s platform can be used by content creators, music producers, sound engineers, game developers, creative agencies, and more. Currently, it has more than 30,000 users from 90 countries around the world, and has already analyzed more than a million videos and 32 million audio recordings.

In the Startup of the Day column, Harmix team share more details about the startup’s idea, its product, and future plans.

“The Startup of the Day column on AIN.Capital is dedicated to tech projects from all sectors that originated from the CEE countries. If you would like to introduce your project, please fill in the questionnaire.”

Nazar Ponochevnyi, CEO and Dmytro Lopushanskyy, CTO of Harmix

Tell us about your startup. How does it work?

Harmix is an AI platform that helps music producers and coordinators find the right music for their needs. Users have to upload a video and tell AI what result they want to receive — thus they get a video synced with the proper music.

How did you come up with the startup’s idea? What was the reason/motivation behind it?

Nazar Ponochevnyi, CEO of the startup, came up with the project idea back in 2018 at the age of 16. Graduation from a 6-year music school contributed to his interest in music; working on research papers in neural networks made him analyze if it would be possible to create a tool to sync the music in one’s head with the environment a person observes. Later that year, Nazar was invited to present the idea as one of the first residents of the Ukrainian Future business incubator.

How long did it take to reach the prototype or MVP? What did you encounter?

In a few months, Nazar started using the idea as the topic for the Junior Academy of Science student research paper. After identifying the problem in the target market that the technology could solve, Nazar developed the Harmix prototype and won fourth place and two special awards out of 1,800 projects as part of the Ukrainian delegation at Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition.

When exactly did you launch your product? Or when the launch is planned?

Android app was launched in January 2022. iOS and B2B launch are planned soon.

Tell us about the startup’s business model. How do you monetize your product?

Previously, Harmix’s monetization model was a Telegram bot, but with the expansion of the startup’s user base, it became clear that this was not enough. The team launched an Android application that currently has more than 30,000 users from 90 countries. The plan is to introduce a B2C freemium business model (through a monthly subscription) and licensing for plug-ins that will be used as software in film production. The team is planning to release a B2B platform for those who work with music: producers, video editors, filmmakers, sound engineers, etc.

Harmix AI-powered platform

What are your target markets and consumers?

Harmix is a platform for everyone who works with video: content creators, music producers, sound engineers, game developers, creative agencies, and more.

What about your team? How many people are working in the startup? If you’re looking for new employees, indicate whom exactly.

Currently, the Harmix team works remotely from different countries of the world: Ukraine, Canada, Israel, the USA, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Estonia, and Germany. There are 12 people in the team, but they are planning to expand: the startup is looking for ML Engineer, Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Python Developer, UI/UX Designers.

Job applications can be sent to this email: [email protected].

Harmix team

Have you already raised any investments? Provide us with more details on each funding round: the amount, investors, the purpose of the investment.

In 2021, the Harmix team received their first $25,000 grant investments from the Ukrainian Startup Fund, which enabled them to launch a global marketing campaign. Unfortunately, the campaign was cut short due to the outbreak of the full-scale war in February 2022.

Also, Harmix was then supported with $13,000 for AWS services by Amazon. Earlier, an investor from Ukraine secured $500,000 in investments for Harmix. However, the outbreak of the war caused a shift in priorities, and the investment plans were put on hold.

Nevertheless, even in the bomb shelters, the team continued growing the business and looking for investors. The situation was unclear, so the management team paused almost all operations to save precious resources and open new opportunities.

Founders spent long hours pitching the idea to target funds and meeting with dozens of potential global investors, but it was a cold winter for the world’s venture capital market. An accidental meeting with the founder of an international fund at one of the university events has turned the tables. The investor was impressed with the team’s resilience and truly believed in their actions. After due diligence and negotiations for six months, Harmix received a funding round worth $500,000 from an international investment fund, which was a testament to the company’s potential.

What’s next? Tell us about your future plans.

Harmix is planning to expand the team and focus on launching a B2B platform for the film, TV, games, and ads industry professionals, such as directors, producers, creators, ads agencies, music supervisors, and sound engineers.

Moreover, as the startup ventures into the B2B market, it actively seeks creative industry individuals who can share their expertise in selecting music for their projects and contribute to the startup’s development.