Roman Abramovich has led a $30 million investment round in Israeli start-up Music Messenger, which provides an app allowing music to be messaged to friends. Abramovich invested $15 million in the round, which was carried out at a company valuation of $100 million. Besides Abramovich, several well-known people in the global music industry, who also took part in the company's previous round, participated in the current round, among them David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Tiesto, will.i.am, and Gee Roberson (formerly chairman of Geffen Records). The investment round was first reported by "Globes" in February this year.
Music Messenger operates from Kibbutz Glil Yam. Its CEO is serial entrepreneur Oded Kobo (known abroad as OD Kobo), son of international businessman Bebo Kobo.
Oded Kobo hit the international headlines recently when he told "Forbes," “We aim to improve the way music is shared. If we can make it as easy to message a song as it is to text message, then the possibilities are staggering."
Kobo founded Music Messenger in 2014 with Shai Azran, David Strauss, and Uzi Refaeli. This will be the company's second financing round after it raised $5 million last August at a valuation of $25 million.
Strauss said in a recent interview, "It's really cool that so many celebrities that have never before worked with an Israeli company are determined to invest. We're happy that the music industry and Israeli high-tech are finally cooperating."
Music Messenger does not store music in its servers but allows users to send songs that they have previously downloaded to their smartphone or alternatively to share music from the company's library, which is an aggregate of libraries like YouTube or SoundCloud, Yahoo and others.
This is not Kobo's first Internet start-up success. In September 2014, he sold Pheed to Moshe Hogeg's Mobli for an estimated $20-40 million. Pheed developed a mobile social network, which gained five million users with a pioneering concept of content monetization.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 20, 2015
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