Blow to UK’s tech dreams as Shazam lines up US listing

LONDON-based tech firm Shazam is likely to snub the London Stock Exchange as it pursues a $1bn (£645m) initial public offering in New York, in the latest blow to David Cameron’s plan to encourage a home-grown, UK-based tech industry.

The music app developer said yesterday it has hired a former Yahoo executive as its new CEO, as it confirmed long-mooted plans to go public. Rich Riley, who left his position as Yahoo’s executive vice president for the Americas last year, is a former Wall Street analyst and will run Shazam from New York.

The firm has also turned to the US for investment and the country is its biggest market, suggesting that it will look to New York to float despite its London headquarters.

Shazam’s software, which deciphers music to tell users what they are listening to, has existed for over a decade but the business only really took off following the launch of its iPhone app in 2008. It makes money from its 60m monthly users by directing them to online retailers once it has decoded a song, and taking a cut of any purchases.

The government has recently been on a drive to encourage high-growth tech firms to list in London, but despite offering concessions via a new London Stock Exchange platform, the initiatives have so far received little concrete interest.

Related articles