A team of six Israeli engineers may have figured out a way to make music messaging pop -- and it has nothing to do with the United States.
Six guys, in-between projects and seemingly semi-bored in Israel, were looking for a way to avoid having to copy and paste YouTube links when they wanted to message their significant others, or each other, a song. With time to kill, they made the dryly named Music Messenger. Roughly a year later and they're being courted by Gee Roberson -- manager of Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne -- and having Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich -- whose investment firm Millhouse Capital divested a $13 billion stake in oil giant Sibneft in the mid-aughts -- walk into their office with open arms.
"Some guy named Gee Roberson -- we had to Google him... we're not from that world, we love music but we had no idea -- jumped on a plane, met up with us and introduced us to [Avicii manager] Ash Pournouri, David Guetta. Within two to three weeks we closed our first round." Meet David Strauss, co-founder and business development lead for Music Messenger, giving his first U.S. interview. That funding round, delivered in mid-August last year, brought $5 million to the five founders and, as Strauss says, let them know they "had a business."
That business is not revolutionary -- sending songs to friends with your phone. In fact, Music Messenger is entering a crowded field; Boomio, Rithm, Undrtone, Radeeus and probably more all do basically the same thing. So why then is Music Messenger averaging nearly a million new users a month while Rithm, which launched in beta last July, has three million users, $1 million in seed funding and at the time of writing at at No. 534 of music-related apps -- Music Messenger is currently No. 20 -- on Apple's App Store?