Investment Spotlight: Cicada, Cohort 6

Presh Dineshkumar
November 16, 2023

Cicada is a SaaS platform that helps musicians monetize through live performances.

While streaming platforms have grown in popularity, they often provide limited financial returns for artists.

For example, Spotify reportedly pays artists between $0.003 and $0.005 per stream. This means an artist would need millions of streams to make a significant income.

How Cicada works:

  1. The artist can create an online popup store on the platform to sell merch.
  2. During live performances, the platform allows real-time tipping.
  3. Cicada also has audience engagement tools, such as letting fans access real-time lyrics and polls.

After launching the product earlier this year, Cicada has 442 users, and 37 paying customers, generating $1,746 in monthly revenue.

The team is two co-founders, Mircea (CEO) and Mark (CTO). Mircea interviewed 15 potential cofounders before meeting Mark. Searching the YC cofounder matching platform, LinkedIn, startup forums, and subreddits. Eventually, he matched with a developer on the YC platform, who introduced him to Mark. Shortly after meeting, they both decided to work full-time on Cicada.

We were quickly impressed by their product velocity and user growth week after week, so we invested $25k into the company.

If you’re a musician and looking to monetize through your live performances, visit to get started.

If you’re a team of multiple builder-founders interested in joining the next Founder University, applications are open for our January 2024 cohort.

We review applications on a rolling basis.

Learn more and apply at

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