Social music app Tunepics sounds out Arab investors

Justin Cooke, co-founder and chief executive of Tunepics, spoke at this month’s Abu Dhabi Media Summit.

Justin Cooke, co-founder and chief executive of Tunepics, spoke at this month’s Abu Dhabi Media Summit.

Tunepics, a social-media app that pairs users’ pictures with music, is in talks with Middle Eastern investors as it looks to continue its rapid growth in members.

The service – among the world’s fastest-growing social networks – has been in touch with potential investors in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, said Justin Cooke its co-founder and chief executive.

“We have had a few offers from various people in the Middle East, so we are considering it,” Cooke said on the sidelines of this week’s Abu Dhabi Media Summit.

Cooke declined to name those involved but said Middle Eastern investors have “a great track record [in] building companies.”

“I think it is a great place to incubate,” Cooke told Al Arabiya News. “Look at some of the acquisitions from Dubai and Abu Dhabi recently, I think it’s exciting.”

Cooke described Tunepics as the world’s first “multi-sensory” social-media service.

The free app, which is available on iTunes, allows users to upload a photo, match it with a song from their library, and then choose from 16 different colored ‘emotions’ before sharing the post on Tunepics.

Cooke recounted the “light-bulb moment” behind it. “I was walking [along] the road one day and took this photo of these leaves on the floor. Then I went into my iTunes library and played the Paolo Nutini song Autumn Leaves,” he said. “Listening to the two together gave me an amazing feeling.”

Cooke launched Tunepics in May 2014. The site grew quickly and attracted celebrity users such as Will.i.am, Adele and James Blunt.

“We had to move quite quickly: we had to put all the resources in place, hire extra people, [and] restructure the whole company,” said Cooke.

Tunepics is currently among the world fastest-growing social media networks, with more than 100,000 users in Saudi Arabia alone. “It’s really nice to see that. It’s the diversity of the world,” Cooke said.

 
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