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Lady Gaga: Silicon Valley Investor

Backplane will help artists maintain an online presence
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Lady Gaga has already partnered with Zynga, crashed Amazon with record album sales, sold designer clothing on Gilt, and now, she’s getting in on the ground floor of a new tech startup.

Last year, after Gaga and her business manager Troy Carter were invited to meet with Apple’s Steve Jobs to give feedback on Ping, Apple’s music-centric social network, Carter—who is already an investor in several tech startups, including Bre.ad, Lumier, and Tiny chat—was inspired to come up with his own way to help entertainers maintain a presence on the social Web.

So Carter and his friend Matthew Michelsen, a tech entrepreneur, founded Backplane, a company that will power online communities around interests like musicians or sports teams, and integrate feeds from sites like Facebook and Twitter. “Backplane will provide a platform and tools for communities to socialize and communicate on a more focused level,” Carter told The New York Times.

Backplane has already raised $1 million from a group of investors led by Tomorrow Ventures, the investment firm led by Google’s Eric Schmidt. (Gaga herself also has a 20 percent stake in the firm.) And considering past proof of Gaga’s digital business savvy, Backplane could prove to be a whole lot more than your average celebrity-endorsed venture.