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Entertainment-discovery app Shazam raises $30M on $1B valuation

Shazam says that it has over 100 million monthly active mobile users and has added more tracks to its music catalog.


Entertainment-discovery app Shazam is worth a serious sum of cash, the company revealed on Tuesday.

Shazam raised $30 million on a $1 billion valuation in its latest funding round, the company announced in a blog post Tuesday. While Shazam has not revealed who provided the funding, the company's chairman, Andrew Fisher, told Bloomberg Television in an interview on Tuesday that there were "a couple of billionaires who participated in the funding round."

In 2013, the company received $40 million in funding from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

"Shazam's new investors are a combination of institutional investors and family offices, some of whom like to keep a low profile," a company spokesperson told CNET. "Therefore, due to confidentiality agreements we cannot give any further details."

Shazam was founded in 1999 and launched in the UK in 2002 on PCs and Macs, but rose to prominence on mobile devices soon after the iPhone 2 launched in 2008. Shazam was capable of "listening" to a song being played on a radio and identifying it for the user. Starting in 2008, Shazam allowed users to instantly buy those songs via iTunes or Amazon's MP3 Store, giving users quick access to tracks.

Since then, Shazam has grown in leaps and bounds and now has 100 million monthly active mobile users. The company's app has also expanded beyond just music to identify television shows. Upon recognizing the item, users are provided with everything from the name of the track or show to videos, biographies, and lyrics. Users can also buy the particular item from online marketplaces. The service also now integrates with streaming-music offerings Spotify and Rdio, as well as Apple's iOS 8 and Siri.

Shazam's latest funding round comes in the wake of the company's CEO Rich Riley saying in July that he had hopes of taking the company public at some point in the next couple of years. In his interview with Bloomberg, Fisher said that the cash infusion will provide a boost to the company's balance sheet as it looks towards an initial public offering.

Though valuations are based partly on guesswork, investors are obviously seeing value in Shazam. Last March, the company announced that it had raised $20 million on a $500 million valuation. At that time, its total funding had hit $92 million since its founding.

Update, 9:51 a.m. PT: Adds statement from Shazam.