Soundwall raises $4 million for its ‘connected canvases’

BOULDER – Soundwall Inc., a Boulder-based startup that makes “connected canvases” for art, has raised $4 million to help ramp up product development.

California-based BlueRun Ventures’ John Malloy – the first venture investor in Paypal – led the round, with participation from previous angel investors. The series A offering was for up to $4.5 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Soundwall, founded by Boulder entrepreneurs David Hose and Sven Coppom, makes a canvas that is a speaker and is connected to the Internet. That enables the canvas to do things like play music streamed from a mobile device or the artist’s voice describing the painting.

The range of content that could be played keeps evolving, and Soundwall CEO Aaron Cohen said Wednesday that the canvases could even be equipped with other devices like cameras at some point. It’s those ideas – as well as improving the acoustics and surface and functionality – that Soundwall will address with the new funding.

“It could be many things,” Cohen, hired in September, said of the possibilities.

Soundwall sells the canvases in sizes up to 34 by 58 inches, though it has made larger ones. The base price for the canvases ranges from $1,000 to $2,500 depending on size, though the finished canvases and works of art combined can sell for between $5,000 and $20,000.

Cohen is based in New York, but the rest of the Soundwall team is in Boulder, where the canvases are assembled.

The privately held company doesn’t disclose revenue. Cohen said the business model is evolving as the company gets the idea in front of more artists and pitches it as a potential new medium with which those artists can have a closer connection to their collectors.

“Soundwall was founded, I think, to give artists the opportunity to continue to work in the great art of visual media but also connect those works to the Internet so they could do other things,” Cohen said.