ExFM, the Chrome extension that automatically remembers the address of every audio file you come across while browsing the web and saves it in a cloud library, has raised $750,000 from investors including Spark Capital, Betaworks, Founder Collective, and Dave Morgan, TechCrunch reported today.
We love ExFM! The combination of serendipitous music discovery with the convenience of keeping your music in the cloud is compelling, and the fact that ExFM merely remembers the location of music files across the web instead of hosting or facilitating their download is a neat trick that will help it avoid some of the legal challenges that have faced other music start-ups such as Grooveshark, Limewire and all their precedents.
But the online music industry is a notoriously tough market. The company has already raised $500,000 to build… a Chrome extension. The majority of internet users do not install browser plug-ins, and even if they did, how do you sell a Chrome extension? Reportedly, ExFM will be using the new cash to add employees and launch mobile apps for iOS and Android, leaving two obvious roads to profitability: Selling apps and funneling listeners to buy music. We could maybe see some users paying a few bucks for an app, but why would they buy songs when ExFM makes streaming music so convenient? We only say this, ExFM, because we don’t want you to go away!
(We’ve emailed ExFM for their thoughts on how they plan to stick around.)