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Saavn raises $100M from Tiger Global and others; to expand in the entertainment category?

saavn

Music streaming service Saavn has raised Series C funding worth $100 million led by Tiger Global, with participation from existing investors Bertelsmann India Investments, Steadview Capital, Liberty Media, and Mousse Partners.

The company also added new investors Quilvest, a Hong Kong-based hedge funds company, and a group of strategic individuals in this round. Saavn will use the funds for product development, customer acquisition, investing in its proprietary ad technology, adding to its sales team and new content deals. Saavn says that it is working with Microsoft to launch a Windows version next month.

With the funding, it also announced updates to its mobile apps which include personalised multi-language homescreen which supports 11 languages, one click play, trending content, charts and music tagging and music chat.

Rishi Malhotra, cofounder and CEO of Saavn, hinted in a statement that there is a likelihood of Saavn expanding to the entertainment business other than its music business. In August last year, the company had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Hong Kong based hedge fund Steadview Capital. At that time, Malhotra, who was the president of Saavn took over as the CEO, whereas founding CEO Vinodh Bhat took over Malhotra’s president role and became the new chief strategy officer.

Saavn claims that it had 11 million active monthly users in Q1 2015, but at the start of Q3, which is this month, it has over 14 million monthly active users and is adding over a million active users every month. Saavn also claims that over 90% of its users are mobile based.

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Founded in 2007, Saavn claims to have a library of over 7 million tracks in Hindi, English (India only), Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, and Bhojpuri. It claims that it has over 900 label partnerships which include T-Series, Tips, YRF, Saregama, Eros, Universal, Sony and Warner Music. For Saavn Pro, it claims to have partners in Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Shazam.

Previous Saavn developments:

– In May, Saavn launched a new series of live acoustic shows and interviews with popular international and Indian artists dubbed Live@Saavn. The artists would be hosted at Saavn’s Mumbai headquarters and the company planned to produce videos of the live sets that would be made available on YouTube.

– In April, it launched Saavn Social, a set of in-app social features which included the ability to tag, follow, chat and share playlists, profiles, celebrities and listening activities with other users on Saavn. The new features would be available to users on Android, iOS and web simultaneously.

– In March, it added a new music sharing feature at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi. The new feature would notify users when a celebrity added a new song to their playlist apart from letting users share their songs with their friends.

– In December, Saavn tied up with Twitter India and introduced a tweet-based online radio station for its users. The new station which will be available globally for its users  is one of the  first new initiatives to make the service more social.

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Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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