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Stuart Dredge from the UK Guardian is reporting that British mobile entertainment firm Shazam has raised $32 million in a funding round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Institutional Venture Partners, with existing investor DN Capital also chipping in.
The funding will fuel Shazam's expansion beyond its original music focus to TV show and advertisement tagging, particularly in the US, where the company has been working with a number of broadcasters in the last year.
The news comes as Shazam prepares to sign up its 150 millionth user for its service, and cements its position as one of the few UK mobile startups to have secured several rounds of funding from prominent US venture capital firms.
"We're profitable, but this is an opportunity to invest and grow even faster, investing in Shazam for TV and the core music proposition as we grow it from 150 million users to a quarter of a billion," said executive vice president of marketing David Jones in an interview.
This is only good news for the Social TV, Multiplatform, TV App arena as valuations of Internet companies are back in the news and have soared in recent months around companies that are developing fast-growing social networking and mobile computing services. Liz Gannes from All Things Digital also reported on the Series C round:
Shazam joins a growing list of companies trying to get viewers to “check in” on the Web while watching TV. IntoNow, which also uses audio recognition to identify TV programs, sold to Yahoo in April for about $22 million.
There’s real money in making brand advertising interactive and accountable, and potentially more so than the pennies extracted from helping other people sell music, said Shazam Executive Vice President Marketing David Jones.
Jones said TV partners pay Shazam a flat fee plus engagement cost a CPM based on their TV impressions, and early results show incredibly high rates of participation. Of the hundreds of thousands of users who Shazam-ed the Old Navy campaign, 27 percent of them interacted further by shopping on their phone or downloading an MP3.
Ten-year-old Shazam is based in London and has 120 employees. It recently made its first acquisition, Tunezee, and intends to use some of the new money to buy more companies.
More from Billboard:
As a result of deals that Shazam has struck with TV networks including Comcast Corp's NBC Universal and with advertisers, consumers can point their cell phones to their TV sets during certain television shows and commercials to access perks such as special offers and additional videos.
Fisher said he expects revenue from the TV business to account for 50 percent of Shazam's revenue in two years. And the company said it is on track to have 250 million users within two years.