Published On: Fri, Apr 24th, 2015

Israeli ‘Music Messenger’ App Draws Millions of New Users, $30 Million From Famous Investors

NICKI MINAJE 1 MUSIC

 

Famous investors: It hasn’t taken very long for six Israeli engineers to make a splash in the music sharing business.

About a year ago, tired of copying and pasting YouTube music links on WhatsApp in order to share them, they created Music Messenger.

Simpler and more economical than other music-sharing apps, it fills a need in areas of the world where YouTube and similar sites are the primary music streaming option and smartphones are the most common means of connecting to the web, Billboard said.

“If I’m in Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile — what do I do, ” asked David Strauss co-founder and business development lead. “These nations can’t afford $10, let alone Tidal’s $20 a month — it’s that or eats this month. That’s what we’re focusing on.”

Music Messenger is averaging nearly a million new users a month and was at No. 20 this week on Apple’s App Store. This past Monday, the startup completed a $30 million funding round from famous investors including Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, Will.i.am, Nicki Minaj, DJ David Guetta,  Avicii,  Tiësto, Sebastian Ingrosso and the former chairman of Geffen Records Gee Roberson among others.

In comparison, one of its competitors in the crowded field, Rithm, has three million users and $1 million in seed funding, and was at No. 534 this week, the report said.

The app uses open-source APIs (application programming interfaces) to easily share data, like audio and images. Users can also playlist shared songs or even add text to album art, according to Billboard.

Strauss said the startup will expand into China this summer. “We know that market really well, some of us were out there for years. YouTube is blocked, but Tencent [which has recently signed partnerships with two of the three major labels], Baidu, Tudou — they all have a pretty decent API and open-source streams. We can access pretty much every Chinese song in the history of Chinese music.”

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