NEW YORK and LONDON, Sept. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Akazoo S.A. (NASDAQ: SONG) ("SONG" or "Company") today announced the successful completion of the previously announced merger of Akazoo Ltd. with Modern Media Acquisition Corp., previously trading under the ticker symbol MMDM. Akazoo expects to begin trading today on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol "SONG," having raised around $55 million in new capital.
The combined company, Akazoo S.A., is a leading global music streaming platform and technology company with a strong international market position focused on emerging markets. Both Akazoo Ltd.'s management and its shareholders rolled over their equity into $380 million of common shares of the combined Company. Additionally, the parties raised new capital of about $55 million to fund the Company's growth initiatives and for general corporate purposes.
Akazoo S.A., SONG, operates in 25 countries, including emerging markets that represent the music streaming industry's fastest growing market opportunities. Akazoo's platform boasts patented Sonic AI music recommendation and profiling technology, developed to support its hyper-local strategy.
In the last 5 years, SONG's premium subscribers have grown from 1.1 million in 2014 to over 5.3 million today. In the first half of 2019, the Company's revenues grew 39% year-over-year. Growth is expected to be driven by an array of existing and new partnerships that include mobile operators, handset manufacturers, media and partnering mobile applications and services, as well as growth in smartphone penetration in their core markets.
The Founder & CEO of Akazoo Ltd., Apostolos N. Zervos, will continue as the Founder & CEO of the combined company, Akazoo S.A. "We are excited to complete this transaction and transition to public company status and welcome our new shareholders. With the backing of strong strategic partners, favorable industry trends and a debt-free balance sheet, we are ready to accelerate our organic growth, further develop our Sonic AI technology and launch highly innovative growth initiatives. Additionally, our new public currency will allow us to grow through valuable industry acquisitions and consolidation," said Zervos.
Lew Dickey, who will serve as the combined entity's Chairman, said "Akazoo has created a high growth digital global music streaming platform that is well-positioned to benefit from secular shifts underway in the media industry. Its strong presence in emerging markets provides a foundation for sustained growth in revenues and profits and our strong balance sheet will be used to fund many growth initiatives."
Akazoo S.A,, SONG, also today announced the members of the Board of Directors of the combined Company that includes leaders from the technology, media, transportation and fintech space.
Lew Dickey is currently the Chairman & CEO of Modern Media. In 1997, Lew co-founded Cumulus Media and built it into the 2nd largest radio company in America, serving as Chairman and CEO for 16 years. He is also Chairman of Modern Luxury, the nation's largest regional publishing company. Lew has a Bachelors and Masters from Stanford and an MBA from Harvard.
Apostolos N. Zervos is currently Founder & CEO of Akazoo, that he founded as a music streaming service in 2010. He has more than 15 years of experience in managing, building and scaling innovative and disruptive technology consumer propositions in new media organically and through M&A. As an executive and entrepreneur, he has pioneered and launched some of the first global mobile propositions for Fortune 500 companies and top global brands and grown Akazoo to over $100 million in revenues. Apostolos N. Zervos received his B.A. from Yale University, in 2002.
Maja Lapcevic is Senior Vice President, Mastercard Labs and leads Mastercard Lab's Global Innovation Programs. Prior to joining Mastercard, Maja held multiple roles at Citi Ventures including Senior Vice President, Venture Investing and Director of Strategic Growth, focusing on Commerce Payments, FinTech, and Market Technology domains. Lapcevic holds a B.A. in Government from Georgetown University.
Athan Stephanopoulos is President of NowThis, the leading digital media brand that produces and distributes video news for mobile and social audiences. Today, NowThis is the largest news source for millennials globally (according to Tubular Labs). Previously, Stephanopoulos was the founder and CEO of a Cliptamatic, a social video distribution platform that was acquired by NowThis in 2014.
David Roche is currently the Executive Chairman of GoHenry Ltd. a privately backed Fintech company and the former President of Hotels.com and Expedia Lodging Partner Service, Expedia Inc, where he grew Hotels.com global expansion over 10 years. He also serves as the Chairman of Guestline, a software company operating in the hospitality space. He is an experienced angel investor in the European technology space and holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Alexander Macridis is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of Chryssafidis S.A. an industrial equipment distribution company operating in South East Europe, a Member of the Board of Directors of Aegean Airlines, a General Secretary of SEV, the Hellenic Federation of Industries and Member of Yale University's President's Council on International Activities. In previous roles, Macridis was at Goldman Sachs & Co., in M&A and Corporate Finance. Macridis has a BA and JD Law degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Panagiotis Dimitropoulos has been a non-executive director of Akazoo Limited since 2015. Mr. Dimitropoulos founded InternetQ Group Ltd in 2000 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since November 1, 2012. Mr. Dimitropoulos is considered a pioneer in the mobile value added services industry and has grown InternetQ to one with international presence and operations. He completed his academic studies in Law at the Athens University and earned an MBA from ALBA.
Loeb & Loeb LLP, Phanar Legal and Arendt & Medernach SA served as legal counsel to Akazoo Ltd.
Macquarie Capital acted as lead financial advisor, and Advection Growth Capital acted as a placement agent. Jones Day and Greenberg Traurig LLP served as legal counsel to MMDM.
Akazoo, founded in 2010, is a global, on-demand music streaming subscription company with a focus on emerging markets. Akazoo's Premium service provides subscribers with unlimited online and offline high-quality streaming access to a catalog of over 45 million songs on a commercial-free basis. Akazoo's free, ad-supported Radio service consists of over 100,000 stations and exists as a separate application. With a presence in 25 countries and growing, Akazoo's platform includes 43 million registered users and 5.3 million premium subscribers as of June 30, 2019. Akazoo directly licenses music from thousands of labels and provides both online and offline listening platforms, social media integration, and a patented, AI-driven new music recommendation engine. As consumers across the globe continue to shift their media consumption to mobile devices, Akazoo is equipped with a world-class mobile application and user experience which works seamlessly across a multitude of mobile devices and provides a high-quality user experience across a range of mobile networks from 2g to 4g LTE and soon 5g.
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, based on the current expectations, estimates and projections of Akazoo S.A. (the "Company") about the Company's operations, industry, financial condition, performance, results of operations, and liquidity. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. Statements containing words such as "may," "could," "believe," "anticipate," "expect," "intend," "plan," "project," "projections," "business outlook," "estimate," or similar expressions constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements represent management's current expectations or predictions of future conditions, events or results. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about, or are based upon assumptions regarding, the Company's strategies and future financial performance; expectations or estimates about future business plans or objectives, prospective performance and opportunities and competitors, including revenues; customer acquisition and retention; operating expenses; market trends, including those in the markets in which the Company competes; liquidity; cash flows and uses of cash; capital expenditures; the Company's ability to invest in growth initiatives and pursue acquisition opportunities; the Company's products and services; pricing; marketing plans; the anticipated benefits of the transaction with MMDM; the sources and uses of cash; and the continued listing of the combined company's securities on Nasdaq. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect management's good faith beliefs, assumptions and expectations only as of the date hereof. Any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual performance and results to differ materially from those predicted, many of which are beyond the Company's control. Reported results should not be considered an indication of future performance. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly release the results of any revision or update to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.