Shazam, the mobile app that instantly recognizes songs and TV commercials, has announced a $40-million round of funding led by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.
The app, which users turn on when they hear a song that they want to identify, said the funding is being headed up by Slim’s company, America Movil, one of the world’s largest wireless communication firms.
Shazam Chief Executive Rich Riley called the investment a milestone.
“It’s a great continuation of the incredible momentum that we have,” he said.
Riley said Slim was attracted to invest in Shazam based on the way the company has built out its global brand. Shazam is available to users in more than 200 countries and is available in 33 languages.
“We are thoroughly global,” Riley said.
Though Shazam is not profitable, the company said it has generated revenue of $300 million in the past 12 months from song purchases. When users purchase a song from iTunes or other digital stores after tagging it on Shazam, the company gets a cut of the sale.
“We intentionally operate at a slight loss so we can focus on continuing to grow our user base, deepen the experience and accelerate our revenue growth,” Riley said.
Additionally, Shazam said it has now worked on more than 300 TV ad campaigns. The London-based company began using its software to tag TV commercials a few years back, and it charges companies it works with six-figure fees to include the Shazam logo on their ads, letting users know that they can expand the commercial through their smartphones.
The company last received funding, for $32 million, in September. Since then, Shazam said it has more than tripled its active user base to 70 million.
“Shazam is defining a new category of media engagement which combines the power of mobile with traditional broadcast media and advertising to create compelling value-added experiences for consumers, content providers and brands,” Slim said in statement.
Shazam said the investment will allow the company to continue expanding and develop more products. Additionally, it, said, America Movil will begin to pre-install the Shazam app on certain smartphones sometime soon.
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