Shazam scores $40M investment from billionaire businessman Carlos Slim
América Móvil, the Latin American telecommunications provider led by Mexican magnate Carlos Slim, has invested $40 million in media discovery platform Shazam.
The free Shazam mobile application, available for operating systems including Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, pinpoints entertainment content from any source, regardless of ambient noise. After users hold their handset to the audio feed for a few seconds, the clip is run through the company's database to find an exact match. Originally optimized for music discovery, Shazam has over time expanded into second-screen services, leveraging prompts integrated into TV programs and commercials to urge consumers to access additional content and information via mobile device.
"Within 18 months we expect TV will significantly outperform the music side [of the business] and that's part of this investment," Shazam Executive Chairman Andrew Fisher told Reuters. Fisher added that the growth of the firm's second-screen business is fueling hopes of an IPO: "That's our ambition, to list… Certainly, two years' time is realistic," he said.
London-based Shazam recently eclipsed the 350 million worldwide user milestone, including 70 million monthly active users, and it adds another 2 million new global users each week. The 11-year-old firm has now raised $72 million from investors including Kleiner Perkins, Institutional Venture Partners, Acacia Capital and DN Capital, and said the América Móvil investment will support its growth across the Latin American market.
Slim is ranked the world's top billionaire by Forbes magazine, with a reported net worth of $73 billion. Before Shazam, Slim's only other investments in the European communications market were stakes in Dutch operator KPN and Telekom Austria.
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