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Kickstarter Makes First Acquisition, Saves Independent Music Community Drip From Closing

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Kickstarter used to be a pretty tiny, scrappy, alternative startup that was driven by the desire to help musicians and artists get access to the money they need to create great work. It’s still that, but it’s no longer tiny and scrappy. Now it buys the tiny, scrappy startups.

Dark Igloo

Kickstarter just announced its first ever acquisition. It bought Drip, a community for independent musicians to connect directly with their fans. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Many of us at Kickstarter have admired Drip over the years. At heart, we’ve been on similar paths,” says Yancey Strickler, co-founder and CEO of Kickstarter, in a blog post announcing the acquisition. “Strengthening the bonds between artists and audiences, and fostering the conditions for a more vibrant creative culture is at the core of our work at Kickstarter, too.”

Related: Kickstarter Wants to Be More Than a Crowdfunding Platform

With New York City-based Drip, which was launched five years ago, music fans would subscribe to musicians and independent record labels and in exchange would get early access to new releases, rare tracks, unique experiences, visual art, exclusive video and writing from the musicians they support.

Kickstarter’s acquisition of Drip came just a few weeks after the indie music community had announced it was shutting down.

In a post on Medium, the founders said it was a “tough” decision to decide to shut down. “At the top of the year we took a hard look at Drip, our future, and the various routes we could take to get there. Between timing, funding, and everything needed to realize this future, we made the decision that now was the time for Drip to come to a conclusion,” the post reads.

Related: When Kickstarter Hit Its Tipping Point

The founders were “happy” to announce the new turn of events and the indie music community says it will continue to operate under Kickstarter’s ownership.

Drip is back from the grave, as it were. There’s got to be an appropriate song to mark the occasion somewhere.

Catherine Clifford

Written By

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.