Melodis Corporation, makers of the hugely popular (and free) Midomi iPhone app has raised a 7 Million dollar Series B VC Round, led by Translink Capital.
We caught up with Melodis CEO Keyvan Mohajer to understand how the company was able to pull off this sizable financing in what is certainly one of the most challenging economic environments since the Great Depression.
Keyvan, who holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, started Melodis in 2005, with the idea of becoming a leader in mobile voice recognition. While the initial app is focused on music recognition (hum a tune, or grab a sample from the radio and Midomi will recognize it), the company's core intellectual property has other uses and ambitions. I suggested that the plan reminded me of an updated version of TellMe (acquired by Microsoft in 2007 for 800 million) - he didn't disagree.
Translink and Global Catalyst funded the original Series A. They both participated in the large series B, joining new investor JAIC, a Japanese VC with stakes in a number of mobile communications companies. With this war chest, Midomi and its 50 employees have bought themselves critical breathing room while other free apps may be struggling with the necessity of quickly finding a business model.
Keyvan indicated that usage for Midomi was exceptionally high, and that they would be soon making an announcement on initial metrics. Ad-supported monetization is in the works, as is technology licensing for other uses. As a pure play music recognition system, Appcraver still prefers Shazam, but Midomi is very close, and with this new investment should give Shazam a run for their money.