In this company blog series, we will introduce our partner startups from the Bay area. We will dive deep into the company culture, founder stories, recruitment, and the employees in order to provide an even better picture of the experience Startuplifers is all about.

This is the second part of the series, read the first blog about BetterDoctor here, the third blog about UnifyID here, and the fourth blog about Arch Systems here. For this part, we interviewed Sung Cho the founder and CEO of Chartmetric.

Chartmetric’s office is located in the Star Space coworking hub in Sunnyvale, Silicon Valley


“We crunch the music data so you don’t have to”


Chartmetric is a platform that offers music analytics services, specially designed for the streaming age. They collect data from 20 different public sources and present it on one dashboard. The idea behind the product is to democratize the data for artists and people in the music industry so that they can make better decisions e.g. on where to perform.

Chartmetric’s product tracks over 1.3. million artists on their social media growth, playlist placements and positions, and current and historical chart positions. They also track over 1.7 million playlists. Their customers include the major record labels and actors in the music industry.


Founding story

The company was founded in 2015 by Sung Cho and today they are a team of seven. Chartmetric story started when Sung understood the importance of data while working in the gaming industry. “I discovered that in the music industry there were a lot of available data, but it was hard to tell how the growth in the artists’ popularity had happened. Some other companies had tried to tackle this issue but I thought I could bring a new perspective with my tech background”, Sung explains.

Today, Chartmetric has been collecting the music industry data for three years. Their dashboard enables the analysis of different trends in the music industry. “It’s very interesting to see how there are spikes in the statistics after popular concerts as the artists get more Wikipedia reads or social media followers”, the CEO Sung describes.


Chartmetric founder and CEO Sung Cho


Building the product


When Sung Cho founded the company he was 38-years old. Before founding his own company he had worked both at startups and big companies. As he had both a Computer Science degree and an MBA in Business, he didn’t have a technical co-founder.

“I didn’t build the company by breakthroughs or sprints but by putting one block at the place, one at a time. One day we just had reached a point where we had enough data for people to start paying to access our product”, Sung describes the growth journey of the company.

Still, there is one big learning he wants to share and it has to do with the playlists. “People love personalized playlists and the lists train the listening habits. Understanding that was a big step forward for us and we started to analyze also playlists in more detail than before,” Sung shares.


It’s a team thing


TechCrunch published an article that stated that the team is the most important factor of startup success. Sung Cho shares his ideas about building a team: “It’s always challenging and we all make mistakes. But when I started my own company I already had plenty of hiring and firing experience. That definitely helped me with the start.”

Trust is the key concept when it comes to leadership, according to Sung Cho. “You have to trust your team. That is the key factor for you to succeed. For me, it means that I don’t give my employees orders or put too many limits on their freedom. And in return, people don’t abuse the trust”, Sung sums up.


Komala Prabhu, Chartmetric’s Software Engineer introduced us to the office space


Eye on the future


It seems that Chartmetric has many of the building blocks at their places. What is their vision for the future? Sung sees great potential in data science. Chartmetric recently published a blog post on men’s and women’s performance on music charts.

“Since we have a tool that enables the data collection and analysis, we could expand to other industries as well: sports, beers, micro-breweries, books, celebrities, politics… the list goes on. There are interesting trends in many sectors”, Sung Cho shares.

“On a personal level, right now I feel very content with my life. We have a great team, fun product and I enjoy spending time with my family and three daughters. I’m not here to grow quick and sell. I want to enjoy the journey”, Sung smiles.

Our Startuplifer Tomi Kalmi will start working at Chartmetric in May as a full-stack engineer. This blog was the second part of the Startuplifers Partner Company Series. Read the first blog here, the third blog here, and the fourth blog here. Want to stay up to date? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and apply to our talent pool here