ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus has invested in a British technology start-up which is planning to listen to UK shops and restaurants to make sure musicians receive more royalties for broadcasts of their work.

The musician and songwriter has invested in London-headquartered Audoo as part of a £5.2m funding round into the business, which plans to install a network of thousands of internet-connected microphones across the country.

The company is preparing to place them in restaurants and shops to help record labels track where songs are being played in order to more accurately pay royalties to the musicians responsible for making them.

Mr Ulvaeus is backing the business along with the family office of Graham Edwards, executive chairman of property developer Telereal Trillium, alongside existing investors including Tileyard London.

The start-up was founded by former musician Ryan Edwards in 2018 after he heard one of his songs played in a department store in 2016 and realised he had received no royalties from the broadcast.

Audoo’s plug-in microphones will send rightsholder organisations real time information on the songs played in shops, bars and gyms so that musicians are paid per broadcast rather than based on estimates that use radio play information.

The business hopes that the data captured by its microphones will also be used by musicians to book tours in regions where their music is frequently played in public.

Audoo hopes that rightsholder groups encourage venues that have music licences to fit the microphones to plug sockets. If every licensed venue is fitted with the microphones, then Audoo will measure around 80 million songs played every 12 hours, the company estimates.

Mr Ulvaeus said: “For a long time I have urged performing rights organisations to use intelligent third-party technology. Audoo is a solution I believe will change the music industry forever and that’s why I have put my money where my mouth is.”

The musician previously backed Swedish technology business Session, which is helping musicians to track songwriting credits so that they receive the correct amount of royalties.