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World's richest man buys major stake in Shazam

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The richest man in the world, Carlos Slim (no relation to Fatboy) has announced that he is set to invest tens of millions of pounds in the British digital music company, Shazam.

The company, which shot to prominence as a song identification system allowing people to play music into their mobile phone and turn a sonic fingerprint into the track ID has thus far struggled to convince the markets of its potential profitability.

Mr Slim’s intervention may well change all that. It is a telling vote of confidence from the world’s wealthiest magnate who made his fortune through telecoms and has amassed a net worth estimated to be $73bn (£49bn). He is pouring $40m (£26.8m) into Shazam through his wireless group, America Movil.

America Movil, which has more than 262 million wireless subscribers across Latin America will now become a significant minority shareholder in the company which first went public in 2011.

Shazam came to London in 2000 after its attempts to garner funding in Silicon Valley came to nothing. Its’ bedrock has always been its handy identification system, but the company has expanded into more profitable areas such as sales, televisions and a growing range of consumer services. It recently appointed a senior yahoo executive, Rich Riley as its chief executive in a move that Andrew Fisher, Shazam's executive chairman, said would transform the company’s worth. So far so good.

America Movil's investment in Shazam - which calls itself "the world's leading media engagement company" - will develop a partnership in the telecom group’s markets and give Shazam a major foothold in Latin America. Shazam’s user base has doubled in the past 2 years and they now boast 350 million users worldwide while active monthly user figures have trebled. Their partnerships with affiliates like iTunes have seen them rack up annual sales figures of over $300m

Written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr - Google+ Profile - More articles by Cyrus Bozorgmehr

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