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iPhone app developer of I Am T-Pain lands Series C from Shasta, Bessemer, and Granite Ventures
Smule, developer of several popular music applications for the iPhone, announced on Wednesday it has secured $8 million in additional financing. New investor, Shasta Ventures led the round. Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Granite Ventures also participated in the round. This brings Smule's total funding to $13.5 million.
If you have an iPhone, more than likely you've come across at least one of Smule's applications. Ocarina, an app which lets users blow into their iPhone microphones and play the device like an instrument, still remains a top seller in the music category. Recently, the startup released a very popular application called I Am T-Pain, which users can sing into the phone and have their voice altered to sound like many familiar pop songs on the radio, making use of the AutoTune effect. I Am T-Pain sits at the number one most paid application under the music category and was recognized by Apple as the #4 application of 2009.
And these aren't free applications, Smule sells these anywhere from $.99 to $2.99. Smule said since the company launched its first product back in 2008, users have purchased over 2.4 million Smule products on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Jason Pressman, Managing Director at Shasta Ventures said, "We were impressed with the financial performance of the company in ’09, in addition to the company’s vision for the future. The dynamics of this new market are unique, and Smule is extremely well positioned to be a dominant player in this market.”
Jeff Smith CEO of Smule shared, “Candidly we were not planning on raising capital at this stage of our business plan. Yet as we got to know the partnership at Shasta, we found they had a similar perspective on the importance of innovation, and a robust understanding of the new consumer market realities. We are therefore excited to have them join us on our mission to redefine the mobile social experience.”
Smith told us in an email the funding will help fuel the development of new apps and the continued expansion of Smule.
If you want to hear more from Jeff Smith, CEO of Smule, come check out our Vator Splash event in San Francisco in February just after the new year. He'll be at the event.
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Smule develops interactive sonic applications for the iPhone and other technology platforms. Smule is developing the new sonic network, connecting users across the globe through expressive audio. Smule's Ocarina, I Am T-Pain, and Leaf Trombone have set the standard for iPhone applications, combining innovative uses of the hardware with compelling social experiences.