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Senzari buys Germany's wahwah.fm mobile music service

SenzarilogoGlobal Internet radio provider Senzari announced today it acquired Berlin-based Disco Volante, creator of mobile music service wahwah.fm.

Disco Volante was spun off from Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories in Berlin after pioneering technologies for the legal co-listening of radio stations across mobile devices. wahwah.fm was launched in 2011 and operates in the German and U.S. markets. The startup received funding from leading German investors including Hasso Plattner Ventures and other local Internet entrepreneurs.

Demian and Philip Signing wahwah.fm dealThe acquisition “injects a mobile-first approach into our organization, which is something that we were lacking as we have always been a very web centric company,” said Demian Bellumio, Senzari's chief operating officer.  “This follows the approach that leading companies, such as Facebook, are following in order to capitalize on the rapid growth of smartphone users.”

As part of the transaction, Philipp Eibach, wahwah’s CEO, will become Senzari’s vice president of music services and head of Senzari Germany, working with the Miami team on the development of Senzari’s next generation music services and expanding the team at the Berlin office. The Berlin office will focus on extending Senzari’s service to iOS, Android and Windows devices, as well as continuing the data science work on its large scale music data set involved in AMP3, Senzari’s proprietary music recommendation platform, Senzari said in its press release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Senzari Germany, in its new office in Berlin’s Betahaus, is already working on the first mobile version of Senzari, due to launch in the coming months. Senzari expects to expand the Berlin team to about 10 engineers over the next year.

Senzari, backed by $4 million in funding from 500 Startups and angel investors from Miami and elsewhere, currently employs 10 in its Miami operations and 16 overall. Its free service, a streaming catalog of more than 10 million songs, is available in Brazil, Spain, Britain and the U.S.  It plans to unveil the initial concept of Senzari mobile at LeWeb Paris Dec. 4-6, along with the latest version of its AMP3  engine.

(Photo provided by Senzari shows Senzari COO Demian Bellumio and Philipp Eibach, wahwah's CEO and now Senzari's VP of music services, after signing the deal in Berlin.)