Former Shazam CFO leaves Apple to join SoapBox Labs

2 Aug 2019

Image: SoapBox Labs

Colm O’Carroll is making the move from Shazam, which was acquired by Apple in recent years, to Irish start-up Soapbox Labs.

This morning (2 August), Irish start-up SoapBox Labs announced that former Shazam CFO Colm O’Carroll will be joining the team.

O’Carroll, who worked with Shazam from 2016 until after the company was acquired by Apple, will act as the CFO of SoapBox Labs. He will be the second C-level hire that SoapBox Labs has made in recent months.

“After the acquisition by Apple, I missed being part of a young tech company,” O’Carroll said. “SoapBox Labs reminds me, in many ways, of Shazam – a rapidly scaling, deep tech company in the midst of a truly transformative period for children’s technology.

“This is a team motivated by harnessing the power of speech-recognition technology to help fulfil the potential of young children everywhere, for literacy and language learning, as well as for fun.”

SoapBox Labs founder and CEO Dr Patricia Scanlon was pleased to welcome O’Carroll to the company. “Colm’s track record of translating strategy into growth for companies like Shazam, Google and Warner Bros will help to guide our success as we continue our expansion across global markets,” she said.

“He reached out to us at the right time in our scaling journey and the passion he communicated for our mission was really exciting.

“The past few years have been about building our proprietary speech-recognition technology for kids, securing key partnerships and laying foundations in new markets. Colm is an important addition to the team at this next stage in our trajectory.”

Scanlon, who was listed in Forbes as one of the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech in 2018, recently gave a TEDx Talk on the role of technology in a child’s reading journey. Scanlon is a former Bell Labs researcher with nearly two decades of experience in speech-recognition technology.

O’Carroll will now work with Scanlon and the SoapBox Labs team, which has developed proprietary speech-recognition technology for children. SoapBox Labs’ solutions power applications in education, games, robots, toys, and AR and VR.

The company launched a new partnership with Microsoft’s Azure earlier this year.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic