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AmpMe, an app that turns smartphones into portable sound systems, raises $10M

The latest advertisement for up-and-coming app AmpMe doesn’t actually say “Let’s all download AmpMe and get Orange Mocha Frappucinos!” explicitly, but with staged pillow fights, perfectly diverse pool parties, and more smiles than have been exhibited by today’s young adults in their lifetime, it does feel eerily reminiscent to a scene cut from Zoolander.

Corny ad aside, the creators behind AmpMe — an app that allows multiple cell phone users to sync up their phones’ audio playback for a better on-the-go music experience — are definitely on to something.

A Montreal-based startup, the company has now raised more than $10 million in funding after a recent $8 million series A round, and is gaining serious headway with those who are tired of putting their phone in a cup to boost its volume.

Currently available for free on iOS and Android, the service has Soundcloud, YouTube (as of Thursday), and MP3 playback integration, making it a great choice to spread the sonic love. AmpMe has more than 2 million downloads on both platforms so far, and is most popular with young people between the ages of 15 and 24, who often listen to tunes together at school or while hanging out together.

Monetization of the service, according to founder Martin-Luc Archambault, will eventually come through ads — though hopefully not ones like their own — but the company intends to keep its popular app advertisement-free for the next year at least.

“We consider ourselves a portable version of Sonos,” said Archambault in an interview with Variety. “Music is meant to be enjoyed together.”

While AmpMe might not have the seriously amazing sound of portable bluetooth speakers like the Bowers & Wilkins T7, or the various Sonos options, it does offer less-than-affluent young people a free option that’s better than that aforementioned cup. Plus, given that nearly everyone carries a smartphone these days, it means that big speaker systems can easily be had anywhere.

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