Shazam joins billion dollar startup club after $30m funding round

Lynsey Barber
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Shazam is the fifth tech startup to emerge from the UK with a $1bn price tag (Source: Shazam)

Music recognition service Shazam has closed a $30m (£19.8m) round of investment valuing the London-based firm at over $1bn (£659m).

It makes Shazam one of just a handful of tech startups to emerge from the UK with a $1bn price tag attached.

The new investment will be used to expand the service into new markets and further develop its technology. The app, which counts 100m active monthly users, helps people identify songs being played around them, and in TV shows and adverts.

“We are delighted to welcome our new investors as we further strengthen our balance sheet and continue to effectively execute on our corporate strategy,” said executive chairman Andrew Fisher.

The new funding round is likely to fuel speculation of the eventual timing of the company’s IPO which chief executive Rich Riley has previously discussed.

“We’re excited to continue to focus on user growth and engagement, building on our strength in music and innovating to increase the universe of what is Shazamable in order to realize the enormous potential of Shazam,” said Riley “Our move into multiple new environments in 2014 has allowed our users to connect to more aspects of their world while enabling our partners and advertisers to reach our massive and engaged user base like never before.”

Investors in Shazam include Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Institutional Venture Partners. The latest round of investors has not been revealed.

Just four other tech startups have emerged from the UK with a valuation over the $1bn mark, according to research by Atomico based on companies founded after 2003: money lender Wonga, mobile banking provider Monitise, property website Zoopla and commerce firm Powa Technologies.

Other firms classed as billion-dollar startups include online retailer Asos, gaming firm King, property website Rightmove and takeaway ordering app Just Eat among those to have emerged from the UK, according to tech investment firm GP Bullhound.

Update: Shazam is the fifth billion-dollar startup to emerge from the UK based on Atomico's research. Other businesses in the UK can also be considered billion-dollar startups according to other research methodology and the story has been updated to reflect this.

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