Beep raises $4M, adds Spotify to its connected audio adapter

San Francisco-based connected audio device maker Beep Devices has raised $4 million in seed financing from investors including David Dolby, Tony Hsieh, Justin Kan, Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan, Technicolor Ventures, Y Combinator and WTI.

Beep also just started shipping the first batch of its connected audio adapter, which the company put up for pre-order earlier this year, and it added a major new feature just in time for this launch: Beep now supports Spotify Connect, which means that paying Spotify subscribers can pipe their music straight from the Spotify app on their mobile device to a Beep adapter — or even a group of Beep adapters for multi-room playback.

Beep is competing with a number of much bigger players for a piece of the connected audio pie, but there are a few things that set the startup part from companies like Spotify: For one, Beep doesn’t sell connected loudspeakers, at least not yet. Beep’s adapter, which looks and functions like a click-wheel, instead connect existing stereo systems to Spotify and Pandora. However, founder Daniel Conrad told me via email that his company is working with several speaker manufacturers to include its technology into their products.

The other difference is a bit more nuanced. Beep is actually the first device that embraces Pandora’s vision of standards-based home audio. Instead of relying on a proprietary SDK, the device renders Javascript that’s similar to what Pandora is using on connected TVs. Pandora CTO Chris Martin told us about this approach at our recent Structure Connect Conference: