VC-backed Shazam tunes up for $1bn IPO

The music recognition mobile app developer, which counts Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Institutional Venture Partners as investors, could seek a public listing as early as next year.

Shazam, the start-up behind one of the 10 most downloaded apps for Apple’s iPhone, has announced its decision to seek an initial public offering. 

The London-based company took the opportunity of a recent shake-up of its management team to express its intention to float, with fundraising expectations reportedly north of $1 billion. 

Shazam ranks among 
the 10 most downloaded
apps on the iPhone

The company recruited Rich Riley, a former Yahoo vice president, as chief executive on Tuesday. His appointment to Shazam’s New York office fed speculation that the company will be aiming to list on Nasdaq – a potential snub to the London Stock Exchange, which unveiled initiatives to attract more technology IPOs last month. Andrew Fisher, CEO since 2005, was appointed to the newly created role of executive chairman.   

An IPO would provide a lucrative exit to some of Shazam’s early backers, which include US venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Institutional Venture Partners and DN Capital. The three investors co-led a $32 million fundraising round in 2011, after Shazam sealed a partnership with online music provider Spotify and expanded into television. 

Palo Alto-headquartered DN Capital first invested in Shazam in 2004, alongside Acacia Capital and Lynx New Media. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, an early investor in Google and Amazon, joined in 2009, while Institutional Venture Partners came on board in 2011. Earlier investors in the company include Lynx Capital Ventures and IDG Ventures Europe. 

Shazam generated £21.8 million in revenues in the 12 months to June 2012 – up from 2011’s £15.6 million – but recorded a pre-tax loss of £3 million over the period. The company has not generated a profit since the launch of its app in 2002.