Adam Street Partners Leads Round, Partner David Welsh Joins Smule’s Board
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 23, 2015–
Smule announced today that it raised $38 million in new equity and debt funding to invest in marketing, product development and international expansion. Adam Street Partners led the equity round with existing backers, including Bessemer Ventures and Shasta Ventures, and City National provided the debt financing. Adams Street partner Dave Welsh joined Smule’s board.
“It’s not every day you encounter a market leading business that combines exceptional creativity with such discipline around execution,” said Dave Welsh, Partner, ASP. “Smule is unique in vision, talent and model. I’m excited to join the board and participate directly in the opportunity to redefine the market for music.”
Smule, known for its entertaining apps and performance platform, has effectively built a social network for music that is growing at a rapid pace. The Smule community now performs 12 million songs a day and records 1.5 terabytes of content a day on the Smule network. The company’s revenue displays the momentum, having doubled in year on year, in 2014, to $40 million, with Smule’s 350,000 subscribers representing 85% of its sales.
“With as much disruptive power as the Sony Walkman or Apple iTunes, Smule is transforming a music industry characterized by a few dozen artists performing for billions of passive listeners,” said David Cowan of Bessemer Venture Partners, Smule’s first investor and board member. “Smule is proving that no one wants to just listen – we want to join the music through song, piano, guitar, composition, rap and dance.”
Smule’s vision is to use technology to free people to be creative, expressive and connected through music. Smule’s model in pursuing innovation has combined the experimental with rigorous, iterative R&D. The result to date has been the formation of a community of 25M users performing 4 billion songs a year.
“We are delighted to have Dave Welsh join our board,” said Dr. Jeffrey C. Smith, co-founder and CEO of Smule. “His significant operating experience, combined with the depth of Adams Street Partners financial backing, will help guide Smule’s growth and enable us to achieve our mission of connecting the world through music.”
Founded in 2008, Smule has created a social network for musical performance powered by a family of award winning mobile applications including Ocarina, Magic Piano, Sing! Karaoke, Guitar! and AutoRap. Smule is changing the industry, transforming music from a passive to an engaging experience where every fan is a musician. On a typical day, Smule’s community will play and sing over 12 million songs and upload over a terabyte of their performances to the Smule network. Over 300 million people across seven continents have used Smule’s products.
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