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Shazam set to speed up expansion with $40m investment from telecom boss Carlos Slim


Shazam, the app that helps users identify music tracks, is receiving funding to the tune of $40 million from Carlos Slim, one of the richest people on the planet. Slim, who according to Forbes magazine has a net worth of more than $70 billion, is chairman of Mexico-based telecom giant América Móvil.

Reuters is reporting that Shazam will use the money to more quickly expand the element of its service that allows users to pull up information on TV shows and ads, a feature introduced last year.

“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.

Also, it’s believed that Slim’s América Móvil will work to get Shazam pre-installed on smartphones in Latin America, where it operates. The company currently has 260 million mobile subscribers in the region. The funding will go towards improving Shazam’s computer systems and expanding its European sales team, too.

“The business is already self-financing but this will allow us to accelerate,” Fisher said.

London-based Shazam launched in 1999, though the service really took off with the launch of the iPhone in 2007. The app currently has some 350 million users around the world.

Now available across multiple platforms, the app comes as a free ad-supported offering, though users can do away with them by paying $6.99 to switch to Shazam Encore.

In the last four years, Shazam has managed to secure $72 million in funding, with the company now reportedly eyeing a stock market flotation, though this is unlikely to happen until 2014 at the earliest.

[Source: Reuters, Telegraph]

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