Stem Appoints Former Venmo COO Michael Vaughan To Board

By Amit Chowdhry ● August 22, 2019
  • Los Angeles-based music and payment distribution company announced it appointed former Venmo chief operating officer Michael Vaughan to its board of directors

Stem — a Los Angeles-based music and payment distribution company — has added former Venmo chief operating officer Michael Vaughan to its board of directors. Vaughan had worked as COO of Venmo from 2011 until this year. Vaughan is currently an executive in residence at Oak HC/FT.

“The music industry can benefit tremendously from innovation in the way money flows between the creators, the distributors, and the platforms,” said Vaughan. “Not to mention the impact we can make with offering more accessible financial services that cater to the creators in the music space.”

Stem is used by artists to distribute their music and then offers a way to split the revenue between the collaborators. Some of the artists on its platform include Childish Gambino, Sheryl Crow, Kiesza, Natasha Bedingfield, Sean Kingston, The Band Perry, and Frank Ocean.


When Vaughan told Venmo co-founder Iqram Magdon-Ismail he was joining Stem’s board, he was thrilled by the news. Iqram already uses Stem for his band Iqram & the Immigrant Groove!

“Music is literally the reason that Venmo started so it’s intriguing for me to be working with Mike again. Across the music business landscape, it’s awesome to see how opportunities have evolved for artists, from the earliest days at Venmo to today’s services like Ense and Stem. This is fundamentally changing the way that artists are treated as legitimate business people and I’m excited to see how Mike’s Board role and his knowledge of fintech will accelerate this,” Magdon-Ismail told Stem in an interview.

Among artists and labels, Stem has been seeing some innovative ways they’re using Stem to both expand their current revenue streams and build entirely new ones. And the company is also fielding inquiries from new financial entrants who want to participate in the digital music market.

“As we keep building out Stem’s platform capabilities, Mike will provide industry insights and connections that will propel Stem’s artist and label fintech offerings,” explained Stem CEO Milana Lewis. “The fintech angle perfectly complements our broader mission of being the most reliable way for artists to get paid and to automate accurate payments for all collaborators who helped them create.”