Innovative iPhone Developer Smule Raises $3.9 Million

Smule is one of our favorite iPhone developers – besides putting together ridiculously addictive apps like Ocarina (iTunes Link), the team is also especially adept at tapping into the iPhone’s network effect, even on something as basic as a virtual lighter. Today, the company has announced that it has closed a $3.9 million funding round led by Granite Ventures, with Bessemer Venture Partners, Maples Investments, and Jeffrey C. Smith (the company’s co-founder and CEO) also participating.

The company combines the talents of Smith, an experienced entrepreneur, with Dr. Ge Wang, an Assistant Professor at Stanford’s Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (who is the company’s other co-founder). Wang is partially responsible for the development of ChucK, an “on-the-fly audio programming language” that allows Smule’s apps to create and transmit realistic music over the iPhone’s network connection. Wang also conducts the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (video here), and the Smule Ocarina orchestra, which played at this year’s Crunchie awards (video here).

Some of Smule’s other applications include Zephyr, a interesting app that combines audio and visual effects to respond to your touch, and Sonic Vox, a voice shifter. Overall Smule’s apps have gained over 1 million users.