Music-app maker JoyTunes said to be new Israeli unicorn with Google investment

Tel Aviv startup raises $50 million at $1 billion valuation from investors led by Google’s venture arm, which injected half of the amount, Calcalist says

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

The Simply Piano app by JoyTunes (YouTube screenshot)
The Simply Piano app by JoyTunes (YouTube screenshot)

JoyTunes, a startup that makes apps that teach people to play music, has become a unicorn, the Calcalist financial website said Monday, after the Tel Aviv-based firm raised $50 million at a $1 billion valuation from investors led by the venture arm of US tech giant Google.

Google Ventures has invested $25 million out of the total amount, Calcalist said, without saying where it got the information. Qualcomm is also an investor in this latest round, along with existing investors.

Founded in 2009, JoyTunes is a music education startup that develops music learning apps for those who want to learn how to play music.

The firm is best known for three of its appsSimply Piano, which helps people to learn piano step by step, from sight-reading to playing with both hands; Piano Maestro, an in-depth educational tool to study piano; and Piano Dust Buster – an introduction to piano for children with no musical experience.

According to its website and the Start-Up Nation Central database, the firm adds 1 million music players a week and Piano Maestro was ranked the number one education app in more than 20 countries. Its Simply Piano was chosen as a top app by both Apple and Google and is used by 10% of US piano teachers.

Calcalist said that in 2020 revenue at the firm jumped to $100 million, up 150% from 2019, but the company is not yet profitable. When this happens, JoyTunes will seek a Wall Street initial public offering of shares.

The funds raised will enable the company to develop additional technologies and products for music teachers, students and lovers, Calcalist said.

The firm had previously raised $42 million from investors including VC firms Aleph, Genesis Partners, Founder Collection, Formation 8 and Qumra Capital and Insight Partners, according to the database of Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks the industry.

The startup was founded by Yuval and Yigal Kaminka and Roey Izkovsky.

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