Telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim is investing $40 million into media-discovery app developer Shazam Entertainment, which plans to double down on its expansion into TV.
Slim’s America Movil — the largest wireless operator in Latin America with more than 263 million customers — also will bundle the Shazam app with smartphones in its markets. Originally launched as a way to ID songs, Shazam’s app now has the ability to “listen” to TV show a user is watching and serve related info and advertising.
“Shazam is defining a new category of media engagement that combines the power of mobile with traditional broadcast media and advertising,” the 73-year-old 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.”
In Shazam’s last round of funding in 2011, the company raised $32 million. Previous investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Institutional Venture Partners, DN Capital and Acacia Capital Partners. Shazam has 180 employees worldwide.
U.K.-based company says in the past two years, its user base has more than doubled to 350 million people in 200 countries, while the number of monthly active users has tripled to more than 70 million. Shazam says sales through partners such as Apple’s iTunes now total $300 million per year, and claims that figure is on a rate to double annually.
“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,” Shazam topper Rich Riley said in a statement.