Co-founder & CEO, Verifi Media
Ken Umezaki is Co-Founder and CEO of Verifi Media, a media technology services company that empowers media creators to secure their rights within their creations and synchronize all updates and changes efficiently across the digital value chain, all at the speed of digital. In this role, Ken oversees all operations at Verifi, building a platform that enables artists and their teams to quickly and easily store, locate, correct and share verified media metadata, ownership information and underlying asset files with all stakeholders, including labels, publishers, distributors, DSPs, PROs and CMOs. This ensures all parties always have the most up-to-date media data, key to powering innovation while enabling creators to be paid properly for their work.
Raised in Tokyo, Ken moved to the United States to study at Princeton University, where he graduated with a degree in Psychology, with a Mathematics minor. His background and fluency in Japanese landed him a position on Wall Street, where he worked for over 20 years. In that time, he built and managed trading businesses at Kidder Peabody, Lehman Brothers and Neuberger Investment Management.
In 2009, Ken’s interests in music and the digital media transformation led him to found Digital Daruma, an investment firm specializing in digital music startups and developing-artist investing. The company has reviewed over 600 investment proposals from startups and artists, and invested in a number of promising companies, artists and songwriters. He has co-founded three new companies in the last decade including Verifi, formed in 2016, where he served as Chief Business Officer before taking over as CEO in 2018.
Over the course of his career, Ken has spoken at many of the biggest music-tech conferences in the world, including SXSW, the Music Biz conference, Digital Entertainment World, Mondo.NYC, the SF MusicTech Summit, the Future Music Forum, A2IM, the Dublin Tech Summit, Sónar+D, OMI, Music Tectonics, Slush and more. He is also a major supporter of music education, including serving on the Board of Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit working with public schools across the U.S. to restore, expand and innovate music education, for over 10 years.
Ken is currently “parked” at his mid-Hudson Valley home in New York, where he lives with his wife. In his free time, Ken enjoys golf, tennis and cycling. He also currently plays bass in the rock band Fifth of Bourbon, and has been performing for over 35 years.