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Shazam! 'World's richest' bloke lobs $40m at music-sniffing biz

Slim's picking the app developer for Latin Americans

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Smartphone app developer Shazam has attracted the eye of one of the world's richest men, Carlos Slim, who has agreed to invest $40m in the music-finding firm.

Slim's company, Mexican wireless telecoms provider América Móvil, has picked Shazam for a rare investment in Europe. The company has only been interested in European firms twice before, putting around $6bn into stakes in Dutch operator KPN and Telekom Austria.

The billionaire - whose fortune has been pegged by Forbes at around $73bn, making him the world's richest bloke according to the mag - said he will bring Shazam's services to América Móvil subscribers in Latin America.

The Mexican firm has 62.9 million wireless subscribers, 30.3 million customers in landlines, 17.8 million broadband users and 17.2 million PayTV subscribers. It controls 70 per cent of the country's mobile phones business. It reported revenue of $49bn in 2010.

Shazam helps people figure out the title and artist for songs they've heard using recognition software, most often on mobile devices. It's currently in the midst of expanding into television, letting folks figure out where advert songs come from and then linking them straight to the brand's website, where they might download a money-off voucher or get some sort of deal.

The company said that Slim's investment would partially go towards funding this expansion.

“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,” said Shazam chief Rich Riley.

The move into telly has given the firm its first real shot at decent revenue, considering that the global TV advertising business is worth hundreds of billions of dollars every year.

The app developer claims a user base of 350 million people worldwide, with 70 million monthly active users. ®

Bootnote

No doubt fans of Bill Gates will point out that the Microsoft co-founder ought to hold the title of "world's richest man", at least by Bloomberg's reckoning.

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