JoyTunes, an Israeli music education startup, has raised $50 million in new funding round and became the latest Israeli startup to join the unicorn club with a $1 billion valuation.
The round was led by Google Ventures (GV) and joined by other investors including Qualcomm Ventures and Hearst Ventures. GV injected half of the amount ($25 million) in the round, which also included the company’s existing investors.
Prior to this latest financing round, JoyTunes had raised $43 million in three funding rounds from investors including Qumra Capital, Aleph, and Yelp founder Stoppelman. The startup had last raised $25 million in 2019 from Tel Aviv-based VC Qumra Capital and New York-based venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners.
Founded in 2011 by Yuval Kaminka and his brother Yigal Kaminka, and Roey Izkovsky, JoyTunes develops music learning apps for those who want to learn how to play music. It uses sound recognition technology and AI to develop educational apps for music lovers around the world. The company has developed several music software apps for teaching instruments, some of which include Simply Piano, Simply Guitar, Piano Maestro, and Piano Dust Buster.
Simply Piano and Simply Guitar, designed for amateur users, help novices to learn to play piano and guitar step by step; Maestro Piano provides an in-depth educational tool to learn piano, and Piano Dust Buster focuses on an introduction to the piano for children with no musical experience. According to the company, Simply Piano and Simply Guitar apps have seen 10 million downloads worldwide and 1 million songs played every week since the start of the pandemic. Simply Piano was listed as one of Apple’s ‘Editor’s Choice’ in its App Store and voted Best App in Google Play, and Piano Maestro was ranked the number one education app in more than 20 countries and is used by 10% of American piano teachers.
JoyTunes’ apps are available to people who pay a subscription for three months, six months, or a year. A one-year subscription for a US user costs $120.
According to sources, JoyTunes’ annual recurring revenue in 2020 surged to $100 million, a 150% increase compared to 2019. This surge is largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lengthy lockdowns that left people across the world looking for online activities. Sources also said that JoyTunes had witnessed 300,000 visits on its website and apps over the past six months, up 10% from the corresponding period last year. It added that the company has consistently seen a rise in the number of visitors since the end of 2020.