Portsmouth music service Jeeni that helps independent artists makes crowdfunding history by raising more than £100,000 in 100 hours

A MUSIC service to boost local talent has just made crowdfunding history, by raising £100,000 from 100 investors in 100 hours.

By Kimberley Barber
Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 11:20 am
Founding directors of Jeeni - Shena Mitchell and Mel Croucher
Founding directors of Jeeni - Shena Mitchell and Mel Croucher

Jeeni is a social media app that allows independent talent to upload original music and grow an audience of new fans.

Unlike the giant streamed music services, Jeeni turns creative work into an ethical source of income, by putting power back into the hands of the artists themselves to make sure that creators and performers keep 100 per cent of everything they make.

Jeeni broke the mould by becoming the first Portsmouth-based company ever to raise funds on the Crowdcube fundraising platform, hitting £100,000 in 100 hours with a target of another £50,000 by the end of the month.

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Jeeni’s founding director, Dr Shena Mitchell, said: ‘Crowdcube has confirmed that out of the half billion pounds they have raised for new ideas, we are the first Portsmouth-based start-up to be accepted by them. It’s great for Portsmouth, great for inward investment and great for local job creation.’

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And Crowdcube is not the only crowdfunding organisation to back Jeeni.

Dr Mitchell continued: ‘We were selected by Richard Branson’s Virgin Crowdboost programme to accelerate our success. That’s a great honour, seeing as they only back a handful of companies from the hundreds of new businesses that would like to benefit but simply don’t make it.’

It’s not the first time that the people behind Jeeni have made entertainment history.

Dr Mitchell’s co-founder is veteran entrepreneur Mel Croucher, who founded the UK computer games industry from a Portsmouth back-bedroom in 1977.

Since then he has worked with music megastars like Prince and Eminem, but he has never forgotten his roots.

He said: ‘My colleagues in Jeeni have been responsible for selling over 500 million records. We’ve made it to the top, and now it’s time to give something back.

‘And we’re proud to be doing it from my home town of Pompey.

‘Most musicians and performers can’t earn enough from streaming services like Spotify to afford the price of a pizza a month. That’s an absolute scandal.

‘They can earn more in five minutes on Jeeni by selling one T-shirt or one album direct to a fan, using our built-in system.

‘We’re so grateful to the professional investors who have helped launch the Jeeni crowdfunding campaign, and now we’re opening it up so that anyone can join in the fun and grab a piece of entertainment history for the price of that pizza!’