Top-Ranking Social Music Making App Developer Smule Acquires Khush
Leading mobile developers join forces to redefine the $65B market for musical entertainment
Palo Alto, California, December 1, 2011 - Smule, creators of top-ranking social music making apps including Magic Piano™, Ocarina, I Am™ T-Pain, Glee Karaoke, and MadPad™, announced today that it has acquired Khush, an intelligent music app developer and creator of popular apps, Songify and LaDiDa™. The acquisition, a combined cash and stock deal which closed this week, brings together complimentary visions, technologies and teams
“The Khush team brings world-class innovation, unique technological talent, and a passionately shared vision for the future,” said Jeffrey C. Smith, co-founder and CEO of Smule. “Joining forces with Khush represents the next step in our plan to bring accessible, fun, and sometimes bizarre music making experiences to everyone.”
Smule and Khush are leading innovators in the rapidly growing market for mobile entertainment. Together, the companies’ customers have downloaded nearly 30 million apps and created more than 350 million songs. Combined, Smule and Khush experienced more than 500% user growth over the past 12 months.
“Our goal is to make musical self-expression as ubiquitous as social expression is today,” said Prerna Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Khush. “The success of apps like Songify and Magic Piano has brought to bear our belief that all humans are inherently creative, and we are thrilled to be uniting with Smule in our common quest for a musical utopia.”
Songify (Khush), a top ranked app with more than 5 million downloads, magically creates songs from a user’s spoken words, allowing you to Songify everyday aspects of your life, including perhaps your love of pets such as cats or even a skirmish with police.
Ocarina (Smule) downloaded more than 6 million times, converts your phone into a flute-like instrument, sensitive to your breath, touch, and tilt.
Magic Piano™ (Smule), downloaded more than 6 million times, allows everyone ranging from a toddler to a Juilliard grad to earn scores by playing their favorite songs, spanning from Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” to Beethoven’s Pathetique sonata. Magic Piano users collectively play more than 1 million songs a day, striking 25 million notes per hour on average.
“The market for musical entertainment has changed dramatically since the arrival of Apple’s iPhone just over three years ago,” Smith continued. “People are looking for more than MP3 downloads and streams; instead, they want interactive, immersive, and social experiences. By combining with our friends at Khush, we have the opportunity to emerge as a principal actor redefining the $65B market for musical entertainment.”
Both companies share deep academic roots. Dr. Ge Wang, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Smule, is an assistant professor at Stanford University in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Dr. Parag Chordia, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Khush, is a professor of computer music at Georgia Tech and serves as the director of the Georgia Tech Music Intelligence Lab.
The Khush team will remain in Atlanta, GA, will continue to function as an independent studio under the Khush brand, and will increasingly leverage Smule’s Sonic Network, a social fabric allowing users to create and explore music together.
This announcement is not a solicitation to purchase or exchange any securities. The securities issuable in the acquisition have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.
Smule’s mission is to connect the world through music. With the premise that everyone is creative, Smule uses the magic of technology to liberate the expressive musician in everyone. Smule’s award-winning applications include Magic Piano™, I Am™ T-Pain, and Ocarina.
The company was co-founded in 2008 by Stanford PhD student and entrepreneur Jeff Smith and Stanford assistant professor Dr. Ge Wang. Smule's investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Granite Ventures, Shasta Ventures, and Floodgate. More information about Smule can be found at http://www.smule.com. Smule is a trademark of Smule, Inc.
Khush develops intelligent music applications. Using cutting-edge artificial intelligence, Khush has created the popular apps Songify and LaDiDa™, which have helped millions of bad singers worldwide express themselves through music.
The company was founded by music technology enthusiasts from the Georgia Tech Music Intelligence Lab. Khush has received investments from 500 Startups, Shotput Ventures, and angel investors Pat Matthews and Yee Lee, along with research grants from the Georgia Research Alliance and the National Science Foundation.
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