Apple Inc. is close to acquiring Shazam Entertainment Ltd., the startup whose music recognition app is already built into Apple’s Siri virtual assistant, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
A deal for the London-based app maker could be announced as soon as Monday, said the person, who declined to be identified because the details are not yet public. TechCrunch earlier reported the takeover, adding that it could value Shazam at about 300 million pounds ($404 million). An Apple spokesman declined to comment. A Shazam representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
That valuation may come as a blow to some Shazam investors, who include Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Institutional Venture Partners and DN Capital Ltd. The 18-year-old company, which has required twice the average time to deliver an exit for backers, was valued at about $1 billion when it closed its last funding round in 2015.
The Shazam app uses the microphone on a smartphone to identify almost any song playing nearby. The acquisition would help Apple embed that capability more deeply into its music offerings, which include a music-streaming service and the iTunes Store. Should Apple decide to remove Shazam from the mobile app store of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, it could prove a key differentiator for prospective customers.