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Micromax invests in music streaming service Gaana


Smartphone maker Micromax has invested an undisclosed amount in the music streaming service Gaana, reports the Times of India. With this investment, the Gaana will be made available on all Micromax smartphones. The financial details of the deal were undisclosed.

The partnership will also provide Micromax users will free trials of Gaana+ service, which allows unlimited downloads and an ad-free subscription. Post the trial period, users can choose to pay for Gaana+ or use the free version of the app. Given that Gaana claims to have over 10 million songs, we feel this isn’t such a bad deal for Micromax users. However, we hope Micromax refrains from providing it as a system app, making it notoriously hard to uninstall for users that don’t want it.

With this investment, Micromax is push towards setting up a services business, in a bid to explore alternate revenue streams. The company first announced its plans of foraying into the services business in September last year. It was apparently looking to tap into areas like education, health and security, through partnerships. However, Micromax CEO Vineet Taneja had said at the time that no developments in this regard were likely to materialize over the next 2-3 quarters.

Investment spree: Subsequently in February this year, Micromax invested in a local analytics company for a ‘significant minority stake’, starting its transformation into a services company. At the time, the company said that it would invest in more startups, and would provide between $0.5 million and $20 million to startups in exchange for 5% to 26% of the stake. Since then, Micromax has either invested in or partnered with companies to provide various features and services on its phones. This includes:

– In May, the company tied up with MoFirst Solutions to offer translation and transliteration services with messaging on its phones and also provide access to about 10,000 local language apps available on MoFirst’s App Bazaar.

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– In June, the company made an undisclosed investment in online travel meta search engine and marketplace Ixigo. Following this investment, the two companies were to work towards building an on-demand and one-click travel experience to be integrated into Micromax devices.

– In August, Micromax made an undisclosed strategic investment in an international startup called MiMedia which offers online backup and cloud storage services. Through its services, MiMedia Beta lets users store photos, videos, music and files to the cloud via the web, iOS and Android, offering 10GB of free storage.

– Earlier this month, Micromax invested an undisclosed amount in price comparison and discovery service Scandid. Scandid lets users scan the barcode of a product to get its price in various online and offline stores, as well as discounts and coupons, if any, for the product.

– In March last year, Micromax had also inked a strategic partnership with chipset maker MediaTek and telco Aircel to launch bundled device offers for Mediatek powered Micromax products, including smartphones, tablets, features phones and 3G dongles.

Samsung-MixRadio partnership: Earlier this week, Samsung announced that MixRadio would be preloaded on its new Tizen-based Z3 smartphone. However, no one really quite uses Tizen, and the partnership doesn’t extend to other phones.

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