America Movil, the telecom carrier led by billionaire tycoon Carlos Slim, has invested $40 million in Shazam Entertainment, the U.K.-based firm that specializes in second screen music and TV recognition applications.
The companies have also forged a “strategic business collaboration for the Americas.”
Shazam, which raised $32 million in 2011 and was founded in 2002, said the new funding will help it accelerate its music business, its continued expansion in television, and drive the development of new products.
“Shazam is defining a new category of media engagement which combines the power of mobile with traditional broadcast media and advertising to create compelling value added experiences for consumers, content providers and brands.” Slim said, in a statement. “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.”
The investment comes about two months after Shazam tapped former Yahoo exec Rich Riley as its new CEO amid a plan for “next stage growth and IPO.” Shazam has not revealed when it will try to go public, but former Shazam CEO and current executive chairman told The Financial Times in April that the company would be "looking at a billion dollars and beyond" when it does pull the trigger.
“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,” Riley said, in a statement. “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.”
Shazam said it is growing at a clip of 2 million users per week, and now counts a global user base of 350 million people globally. It also claims that its monthly active user base has reached 70 million, and that its sales of digital goods is doubling each year, and now sits at more than $300 million annually.
In May, Shazam launched a new “auto-tagging” element for the iPad that can recognize music and audio from TV shows and TV ads playing in the background without requiring any manual intervention by the user.
Others competing with Shazam in the companion TV app sector include Viggle, Dijit, GetGlue and Comcast-backed Zeebox.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Institutional Venture Partners, DN Capital, and Acacia Capital Partners are among Shazam’s other major investors.