Tencent leads funding round for music streaming firm Gaana

Indian music streaming service Gaana has raised $115 million in a funding round led by Chinese tech giant Tencent.

Gaana, a Spotify-like platform, said Wednesday This particular would certainly look to use the raised capital to invest in artificial intelligence to personalize its music platform in addition to also develop its paid-user subscription product.

The firm was established in 2010 by Indian tech incubator Time Internet, which has also backed the funding. Gaana did not specify how much money was invested by Tencent in addition to also Time Internet.

“Going forward, I think as we build the base, we believe in which the market — with low data prices, low smartphone prices — we are seeing a huge traction in addition to also we believe in which the market can be going to continue to grow at full speed,” Gaana Chief Executive Prashan Agarwal told CNBC in an interview.

“We believe in which over the next few years there will be at least 300 million smartphone users who jump onto the bandwagon of live-streaming music services given the convenience in addition to also the quality in addition to also the catalog size.”

Agarwal said Gaana can be investing heavily in machine learning in addition to also original content. He added in which the firm’s main target audience can be the international Indian diaspora community.

He said: “Almost 10 percent of monthly active users comes coming from outside of India. These are Indians in which want to connect back to the roots in addition to also listen to the regional music in which India has to offer.”

Tencent can be Asia’s most valuable company, that has a market value of almost $525 billion. This particular was the first Asian firm to pass the $500 billion mark, an achievement This particular shares with Silicon Valley titans Apple in addition to also Facebook.

Gaana said This particular passed 60 million monthly active users in December. Spotify’s last figure for monthly active users, released in June, was 140 million.

Tencent already features a stake inside Swedish start-up, which plans to go public via a direct listing on the completely new York Stock Exchange.

Tencent, a rival to Chinese e-commerce corporation Alibaba, has invested in quite a few various other Indian companies including messaging service Hike, e-commerce firm Flipkart in addition to also ride-hailing company Ola.

Explaining Tencent’s decision to invest in Gaana, Martin Lau, the Chinese conglomerate’s president, said in a statement: “As more affordable mobile data plans are driving smartphone penetration in India, we believe growth inside music streaming market will accelerate.”

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