Shazam closes huge $40 million investment deal with world’s richest man

Music recognition app and media engagement company Shazam has netted a $40 million investment from a telecommunications business based in Mexico.

London-based Shazam has now raised $72 million (£48 million) of disclosed equity backing following its latest round.

America Movil has joined a list of investors which already includes Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Institutional Venture Partners, DN Capital and Acacia Capital Partners.

The technology business initially developed a smartphone application which allows users to identify a song which they hear on the TV or in public. It has since moved into the TV and advertising market and is now generating $300 million of digital content sales a year through affiliate sales – a small cut every time one of its users buys a song they’ve tagged from a store such as Apple’s iTunes.

Previous funding rounds saw Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers invest in the business back in 2009, and then join Institutional Venture Partners and DN Capital through a $32 million transaction in 2011.

New backer America Movil is fronted by Carlos Slim, a Mexican businessman who has been ranked by Forbes as the richest man in the world between 2010 and 2013.

Rich Riley, CEO of Shazam, comments, ‘Shazam’s expansion into television has moved the company into an entirely new phase of growth with interactive advertising generating new sources of revenue and partnerships with broadcasters encouraging a broader group of people to use Shazam more frequently.

‘We look forward to working with America Movil to launch these services in the region as we seek to increase our ubiquity throughout the world.’

Since being backed by its partner venture capital firms in 2011, Shazam says that it has expanded its service from music into television and doubled its user base to 350 million people globally.

In January of that year, Shazam and music streaming service Spotify announced a partnership to improve their range of products for mobile users. The agreement saw Spotify’s service integrated across the full range of Shazam’s free and paid-for apps created for MP3 players, smartphones and tablets.

Carlos Slim, co-chairman of America Movil, adds, ‘Shazam is defining a new category of media engagement which combines the power of mobile with traditional broadcast and advertising to create compelling value-added experiences for consumers content providers and brands.

‘We are excited to bring this innovation to America Movil subscribers as we continue to further differentiate our services as the market leader in Latin America.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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