2014 Recap: Murfie

murfie_logo_black2014 flew by! Murfie continued to grow our member base and inventory numbers, hitting a milestone of one-half million CDs under management in our warehouse.

We had some awesome and unexpected media mentions including The Huffington Post, Cracked, USA Today, Inc., and CNET. A crew from The Start Up TV Show came to the office to film our operations and feature us in an episode.

This year, Murfie integrated with Samsung Shape and NAD Bluesound, enabling members to stream in mp3 and lossless FLAC format on those devices.

We announced that you can buy CDs from third-party retailers and ship them right to your Murfie collection, helping us become the digital shelf in the cloud for your physical collection. We also have been improving the website UI and have an improved version of the Web Player in beta.

Our vinyl ripping service is officially in action and growing. We’re past the planning phase of our service for DVDs, and are putting the framework together for a launch. Pay us a visit at murfie.com!

Yahara Music Library Launches

yahara-music-library-logoThe Yahara Music Library, a collaborative project between the Madison Public Library and Murfie Music, recently launched.

Using technology from Murfie’s online music streaming platform, the Yahara Music Library enables any library card holder to stream music from the Yahara Music Library using any web browser or download albums in multiple formats to a variety of devices. The diverse collection of music in Yahara includes established musicians and up and coming artists who play everything from rock, hip hop, classical, and more. Murfie and the Library are releasing technical elements of the Yahara Music Library under an open source license.

2013 Recap: Murfie

murfie_logo_black2013 has been a fast-paced and exciting year for Murfie!

We kicked off the year with a move (down the block) to larger, better digs at 7 North Pinckney Street. Ordinarily, moving an office of software developers one block is pretty straightforward, but Murfie had the added challenge of safely moving our valuable inventory.

As the year progressed, we rolled out new features that created a major increase in media mentions and our current members’ activity on the murfie.com site.

Most notably, we became the became the first music service to provide lossless streaming (high-quality FLAC format) for our members to listen to their collections on Sonos and VOCO devices.

We also became the first major music marketplace to accept Bitcoin, the growing digital currency, as payment. This year we’ve seen a growing amount of international interest in our service (e.g. Canada, Germany, and Australia), and have added PayPal as a payment option to accommodate purchases for those members.

Other great feature additions to the site have been our rip-to-hard-drive service, our Wishlist feature with Autobuy, Cool Collections of themed albums in the marketplace, and our Unpurchase feature, which allows members to buy, stream, and return any album within 24 hours.

Heading into 2014, Murfie is gearing up to add vinyl records to our service. With the same framework as our CD service, members can send their vinyl records from home to be ripped, downloaded and streamed, and either stored or returned to them. 2014 is looking to be another great year.

2012 Recap: Murfie

Last year Murfie was a roller coaster. This year we’re an airplane. An airplane during takeoff.

We’ve got our engines roaring, our flaps and slats are deployed and we’re entering the climb phase. We expect a few bumps here and there during ascent (we’re a startup, afterall), but we’re happy to be finally off the ground.

Metaphors aside, Murfie has had a truly jam-packed 12 months. In the year 2012, we graduated from TechStars. We were selected to START, the new, invite-only sister event to the acclaimed f.ounders. (Matt and Preston also researched the differences between Irish and Wisconsin beer.) We closed a new round of funding that added Great Oaks Venture Capital to our list of terrific investors.

We launched our music streaming service. We also launched our partnership with Sonos. Meaning, you can now listen to your entire CD collection on your Sonos Wireless HiFi System at home!

We revamped the site offer and design more than once. (Move fast and fix things is our modus operandi.) We tripled our disc inventory from 100k to 300k. We managed to keep our customer satisfaction rating at a cheerful more or less 95%.

We even got some high-level shout outs from the likes of Yahoo! Shopping, Wisconsin Public Radio, CNET and CBS News.

Forward-looking plans include making the browsing experience for our customers screaming fast, stocking a much larger inventory of new albums, launching mobile apps and additional device partnerships and hitting the 1M mark in our disc bank.

I could keep going, but there’s only so much good news a person can take. 😉

Maybe next year we’ll reach cruising altitude?

Check out past Murfie news posts here.

Murfie Selected for START 150

Capital Entrepreneurs member Murfie has been selected to join START, which is the new invite-only sister event to the acclaimed f.ounders. START brings together “150 of the world’s most exciting and disruptive startups” plus a mix of investors and media at an exclusive gathering in Dublin on October 17 and 18. Congrats Murfie! Read more on their blog.

Capital Entrepreneurs Members Featured at EDC Meeting

The Madison Economic Development Committee got a glimpse into the burgeoning Madison startup scene and heard the “State of the Startup” last night. The Madison EDC meeting was devoted entirely to a discussion on “Building Madison’s Tech Startup Community” and featured a panel of Capital Entrepreneurs members Chris Meyer (Sector67), Brad Grzesiak (Bendyworks), Preston Austin (Murfie), Forrest Woolworth (PerBlue), and Bryan Chan (SupraNet).

The panel highlighted many of the great things already happening in the Madison startup community, and outlined roles the city could play to make it even better. Read more about the meeting here.

TechStar’s Demo Day: Murfie

CE member Murfie was one of 13 companies to demo at the 4th annual TechStar’s Boston demo day this week. Murfie is a friendly online music marketplace and has already raised $1.4 million in funding. Check out more info on demo day here.

From The Next Web: TechStars operates in 4 cities nationwide including Boulder, Boston, Seattle, and New York, and has more than 300 mentors, 1,000 investors and 78 alumni TechStars companies in its network. Last year, TechStars received over 3,000 applications for approximately 50 positions, making the accelerator program harder to get into than Harvard or Yale with an acceptance rate of approximately 1.50%.

Murfie Raises $1.4 Million, Selected For TechStars Boston

CE member Murfie.com recently completed a funding round of $1.4 million, led by the DaneVest Tech Fund. Murfie was also selected as one of only 13 companies from around the world to participate in the TechStars Winter 2012 Boston Program. The TechStars program is considered the top accelerator in the world, and Murfie will receive three months of intensive top-notch mentorship and the chance to pitch for additional funds at the program’s conclusion. Murfie has already accumulated 120,000 CDs from it’s members, and ads 1,000-2,000 new CDs every day. More information is available here.

2011 Recap: Murfie

Looking back, Murfie had a roller-coaster year. (We know, we know…it’s a tired cliché.) Like any first-year startup, we had our ups and downs, but we made it through without falling out of the car. We tried to ride high, with our hands up in the air. We tried to keep pace. We tried to do a few celebratory fist pumps here and there.

In the year 2011, we moved from beta to full release. We recruited staffers by the dozen to operate the, well, operations room. We got a ping-pong table (and then retired it). We garnered shout-outs by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, NPR, and Southwest Airlines. We started a podcast. We ordered healthy takeout for almost all working lunches. We solved too many bugs to count. We hit solid marks in customer growth and CDs received.

Moving into 2012, we’ll be doing a whole lot of somethings. We’re looking to fine-tune our mission statement and value proposition. We’re looking to continue building a complementary, cohesive core team. (This one’s important, so let’s take a pause. Business models may shift and ideas may change, but smart people are always valuable.) We’re looking to make all our operational processes more efficient. Above all else we’re looking to reach a larger customer base: we’re excited to connect with folks who want to be part of a media landscape that is ever changing. The question of ownership versus access will continue to take center stage, and we plan to stay at the forefront – making our unique stamp on the digital music revolution.

Murfie.com Featured on NPR

CE member company Murfie.com was recently featured on NPR. Murfie’s All Tech Considered segment highlighted the company, as well as one of their customers who digitized over 900 CDs. Murfie will burn your old discs to a digital file, recycle the cases and even resell the album online. It’s part garage sale, part iTunes.

Read the full article and listen to the broadcast here.

Murfie.com Featured in The Wall Street Journal

CE member company Murfie.com was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal. Murfie will take all of those CDs you have sitting around into the cloud age. They’ll send you a nice box in the mail, and then you send them your CDs. They’ll rip them and you’ll have digital versions on their website that you can sell and trade. It’s basically a huge online used CD store where you can buy/sell/trade albums for a good price point.

From the article:

Murfie wants to become the Internet’s largest used-CD emporium. (It takes a 30% cut.) As a used-CD store, they are unique in that buyers don’t need to wait for a disc in the mail—the music can be downloaded. And because these are used-CDs you’re buying, the prices are lower than normal. An example: I found John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” for $4 ($3 for the CD plus $1 for the rip and download) on Murfie. It’s $8 on iTunes.

Read the full article here (if you’re not a WSJ subscriber, just Google the article’s title: ‘Sending Your Discs to Cloud Heaven’ and click through from there to read the full article).