Smule Raises $26M in Venture Capital Funding

smuleSmule, a San Francisco, Calif.-based mobile developer of music applications and games, raised $26m in venture capital funding.

The round was led by Adams Street Partners.

The company, which had previously raised approx. $42m in vc, intends to use the capital to expand to new platforms, create new functions and invest in R&D.

Led by CEO Jeff Smith, Smule creates social music apps including:
– Sing! Karaoke, which allows users to sing favorite songs from a catalog of hits, to create original open mic recordings, and collaborate with singers from all around the globe;
– Magic Piano to play songs;
– AutoRap to turn speech into rap; and
– Guitar! for musical collaboration between guitarist and singer.



UPDATE: the company also received $12m in debt financing from City National.

Press Release

Smule Raises $38 Million in Funding to Accelerate Growth & Invest in Research and Development

Adam Street Partners Leads Round, Partner David Welsh Joins Smule’s Board

April 23, 2015 12:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.”

About Smule

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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