Luke Rynne Cullen remembers what spurned him into action: several years ago, after successfully finishing a wedding gig, he and a group of musicians were handed their payment.
And then the violinist realized it was €200 short.
“I had to go up to the bride on her wedding day to get the additional funds that was agreed,” he said.
It is a common problem that Rynne Cullen has encountered as a musician gigging regularly as well as in his previous role as president of the Trinity orchestra during his college days.
“When I was managing them I was doing pretty much all of the festivals in Ireland. I just found that dealing with the payment aspect of things, finding the bookings in the first place, was quite hard. There was no place for the musicians to advertise themselves.”
His Dublin-based startup Applaud is building an online marketplace and payments channel for musicians to take bookings more efficiently and to avoid awkward chats with a bride and groom.
While studying in Trinity, he built an MVP of Applaud and took part in programmes like New Frontiers to get some early validation for the idea as well as very early capital. It’s now being advised by Richard Tierney, whose background includes senior marketing roles at Live Nation and Aiken.
In April of this year, Rynne Cullen was joined by CTO Jerico Alcaras, who was previously a software engineer at wellness startup KeepAppy.
Applaud is now looking at ways to integrate payments into the site so promoters and festival organisers can make deposits and payments directly, which will take away some of the mess associated with paying in cash.
Read more here.
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