In only seven months since its launch, Music Messenger, the popular music streaming and messaging app based out of a small kibbutz in Israel, has successfully completed two rounds of funding totaling $35 million in the recent Series B round. The company is now valued at more than $100 million.
Music Messenger lets users search almost any song in the world, create playlists and send it to anyone in their phone's contacts. All received music messages are categorically stored in the library so users can listen to them later when at the gym, home, in the car, or on-the-go. Users are also introduced to top charts, genres and an array of playlists.
Available in 10 different languages, it's a simple service for music lovers around the world.
The Successful Series B Round
Billionaire businessman and owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, led the round investing $15 million--his largest investment in any Israeli technology startup yet.
"We are thankful to have partners like Roman Abramovich and his team," O.D. Kobo, founder of Music Messenger, said. "Together we can move forward in bringing new opportunities for people everywhere to share and spread the joy of music."
Other investors include David Guetta, Will.I.Am, Tiesto, Avicii and manager Ash Pournouri, Benny Andersson (founding member of ABBA), an ex-CEO of MTV, a president of one of the big record labels, and Gee Roberson (former Chairman of Geffen Records and manager of Nicki Minaj).
The App's Rapid Growth
Before Music Messenger, there was no simple way for people to send music to one another mobile-to-mobile, apart from sharing YouTube links via SMS. It's no surprise Music Messenger quickly gained popularity. It already ranks in the top 25 music apps in the App Store in more than 50 countries, and is growing by more than one million new users each month--that's quite impressive.
How Music Messenger Got Its Start
As a seasoned Internet entrepreneur, Kobo has had two exits totaling more than $120 million within the last five years.
In 2010, Kobo sold his Chinese Internet investment company KGIM to East River Capital, a company owned by the former Prime Minister of Qatar, for $80 million. Last year, Kobo sold his previous startup, Pheed, a popular teen social media app, to Mobli Media for $40 million after only 18 months since its launch. Immediately after, Kobo founded Music Messenger together with his long-time friends and co-founders, Shai Azran and Uzi Refaeli.
Here's How It Works
Using multiple open sources such as Yahoo!, VK, Last.Fm, SoundCloud, Tudou, Baidu, and YouTube, Music Messenger provides a wide range of music streaming to any Internet-enabled phone. Instead of sending files, users send stream links, so the app does not store the files or enable a download.
It is widely used by the music industry as a promotional tool to introduce users to songs. The "Download on iTunes" button appears by each song in a fashion similar to Shazam. The business model intends to prompt users to purchase songs to benefit artist earnings, so everyone is happy.
It's simple, fast, and subscription and ad-free.
This summer, Music Messenger plans to launch in China, and is currently focusing on growth in BRIC nations, where the app's service fills a need in a neglected mobile music-sharing market. Not everyone can afford to pay a monthly subscription fee many other web-based music streaming services, like Spotify or Jay-Z's Tidal, require. So for markets like Brazil, India, Asia, and Latin America, here comes Music Messenger.