Analysis

Streaming music service Saavn raises $100m as it reaches 14m active users


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Android-Press-HomeBig news for Indian streaming music service Saavn: it’s announcing a $100m funding round led by Tiger Global Management today, while announcing a new milestone of 14m active users.

The company says the funding will be used “to drive long-term product development and aggressive customer acquisition” as well as investing in advertising technology, sales staff and new content partnerships.

Saavn is certainly ambitious: although it has added 3m additional monthly active users (MAUs) since the end of March, it is targeting the 20m milestone by the end of 2015 – by which point it will have added Windows to its existing iOS and Android apps. Like other streaming music services, Saavn is skewing ever more mobile: 90% of its usage is now on mobile devices.

““Music streaming is at the center of the music industry, and India is one of the most important music economies in the world. With 2 million Androids shipping each week, music is driving data consumption and redefining mobile advertising,” said CEO Rishi Malhotra in a statement. “We are building the best-in-class mobile entertainment ecosystem, with music as the foundation. Our investors continue to be the best partners in the world.”

Note that reference to “mobile entertainment” and “music as the foundation” – we wonder if Saavn is planning to expand into other areas like film and TV, or perhaps even web video like Spotify.

The funding is Saavn’s Series C round, with existing investors Bertelsmann India Investments, Steadview Capital, Liberty Media, and Mousse Partners all chipping in to the new round of investment. Investment firm Quilvest, unnamed Hong Kong hedge funds and “strategic” individuals are also involved in the round.

Saavn has already seen off at least one of its competitors in India: fellow streaming service Dhingana shut down early this year after running out of money, before being acquired by US streaming service Rdio to spearhead its expansion into India and the surrounding region.

Stuart Dredge

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