Shazam reaches $1bn valuation paving way for IPO
Shazam has been valued at $1 billion following its latest round of investment which could make it easier for the music app to go publicShazam

Shazam, the company behind the successful music-recognition software, has renewed hopes for an IPO following its recent $1bn (£662m) valuation.

Andrew Fisher, Shazam's executive chairman, told IBTimes UK that the $30m (£20m) investment leading to the latest valuation has given the London-based company "more optionality about the IPO."

He said: "Clearly the economic landscape is very uncertain right now, and we weren't actually looking for funding, we were approached by a number of investors and we decided to further strengthen our balance sheet. It gives us more choices around being a private versus a public company given we can't influence the macro economic conditions out there.

"While we can't offer a specific time scale. We still have a very strong belief that Shazam will make a very very strong public company."

"Investing in opportunity"

Despite the valuation Shazam hasn't been profitable since 2006. The company's most recent filings in London show that Shazam incurred a loss of £5.8m in the six months ended December 31, 2013, on revenue of £16.9m.

When asked about this, Fisher said: "We've dipped in and out of operating profit, rather than net profit, and it's a conscious decision for us around investing in the opportunity.

"Our belief is that the world is moving so fast, that there are so many opportunities being created that by investing in those opportunities and being loss making it's actually going to create far more value for our shareholders over the medium to longer term than driving profits to the bottom line.

"We were loss making in 2014 and we would anticipate we'll be loss making in 2015, particularly as we bring in new experiences to the UK market and other parts of Europe. Then at some point in time we would expect to make significant profits.

"It's really a trade-off between being profitable today and capturing those opportunities in the future, and I think you'll see us iterate that over a period of time whilst we're a private company."

Making significant revenues

Over the last six months Shazam has announced and implemented partnerships that have seen it enter the retail, cinema advertising, radio advertising and screen-based advertising markets including recent tie-ups in the US, said Fisher.

Moving beyond music recognition, Shazam started adding the commercials to its database in 2010. The app listens to and identifies a commercial, pulling up more information about products or special offers.

"Television [advertising] alone is a $300bn dollar industry per annum, so if we can make that $300bn more effective for people then we expect to make significant revenues, and that's part of what's driven the valuation this funding round."