Indian Mobile Streaming App Saavn Raises $100m

Tim Maytom

saavn comboMusic streaming is more popular than ever in markets around the globe, and one company taking advantage of that is Saavn, one of the few streaming apps targeting the Indian market, which has just completed a Series C funding round for $100m (£64.8m).

The funding round values the company at around $350m and was led by Tiger Global, in addition to previous investors Bertelsmann India Investments, Liberty Media and Steadview Capital, along with a number of unnamed hedge funds from Hong Kong.

Saavn's app is one of a small number of locally-focused music streaming services which is battling for market share as smartphone adoption rockets across India, and more people than ever before get access to the Internet.

Saavn has 14m monthly active users, up from 11m at the start of the year, and is reportedly now growing at a rate of 1m MAUs per month, and expects to surpass 20m MAUs by the end of the year. Its competitors include Times Internet-owned Gaana, Rdio, which launched in India earlier this year, and Hungama, which celebrated its own $100m funding round in March.

The company plans on using the new investment to scale its service to deal with new demand, and to move into streaming video content, another market that is poised for a huge explosion in the Indian market.

"Since Saavn was started in 2007, we have been in the business of innovating. It's at the core of everything we do," said CEO and co-founder Rishi Malhotra. "We innovated to deliver the first music streaming platform dedicated to India in 2009. We launched the first Android app for Indian music in 2011, and the first iOS app in 2012.

"In 2013, we launched the first mobile subscription product, Saavn Pro, so we could enjoy our music while flying at 30,000 feet, reduce data streaming charges while commuting, and deliver the highest-fidelity audio available to users. While our products have many features, innovation is perhaps the best one."