This story was originally published in ofn.org.
Pioneering music technology company ElectroSpit makes the world’s only lightweight, fully-portable, tubeless talkbox. This technology allows musicians to play various instrumental sounds and voices through their mouth. This creates a unique ability to “sing” with limitless range and creativity. Every device is hand-crafted at the company’s headquarters in West Oakland, California, a historically Black community. ElectroSpit’s product has featured in songs by Bruno Mars and Big Boi of OutKast. David Guetta and Stevie Wonder use it.
Without adequate collateral or historical performance to qualify for a mainstream bank loan, co-founders Bosko and Maya Kante have relied on crowdfunding for capital. But at the end of 2021, ElectroSpit secured their first equity investment from ICA. This helped them deploy the capital to grow the brand in the professional musician market, while also developing products with a lower price point that they can produce at scale. ElectroSpit is one of the first companies to receive an equity investment through the new ICA Impact Note. This is an innovative investment structure that helps entrepreneurs prioritize social impacts, like good job creation, workforce diversity, and profit distribution.
Electrospit is Black-led, and the team is 86 percent people of color. The company provides training, mentorship, and a living wage starting at $25 per hour. They are also working to provide benefits like healthcare and profit-sharing. Full-time staff also qualify for paid time off, maternity leave, transportation credits, and more. ElectroSpit is also part of the Black Music Entrepreneurship Incubator. This organization recently acquired property in West Oakland to serve as a cultural hub for musicians and artists of color. The founders mentor and advise local musicians on developing sustainable careers in music through volunteer work at the nonprofit Zoo Labs. In addition, Bosko operates his own nonprofit which will support underrepresented artists at a newly purchased building in West Oakland.
“This is an exciting time of growth at ElectroSpit and having ICA alongside us has been huge. The ICA team is a great partner in our growth and has ensured we are ready for scale and capital,” said Bosko.