Gaana raises $115 million funding led by Tencent

MUMBAI: Times Internet’s digital music service Gaana has raised $115 million led by Chinese internet giant Tencent. Times Internet will also participate in the latest round of financing.

Gaana was incubated 7 years ago by Times Internet. In the last 4 years, its mobile app has been the driver of growth, with 700% growth in consumption in the last 2 years. 88% of Gaana’s monthly users come from India. In December 2017, Gaana crossed 60 million monthly active users.

Tencent is the majority shareholder of Tencent Music Entertainment, China’s largest music streaming business. It also operates JOOX, a leading music streaming platform in South East Asia.

Gaana intends to use the capital to further invest into technology to use AI to personalise music experiences for each consumer, to further develop its subscription product for paying users, and to develop aligned music experiences for Gaana consumers.

Times Internet CEO Gautam Sinha said, “We are happy to welcome Tencent as a partner in Gaana and benefit from their global learnings. Gaana has demonstrated exponential growth over the years. Tencent operates the largest music streaming business in China, and we look forward to working closely with them to continue to innovate and drive the digital music market in India.”

Gaana CEO Prashan Agarwal added, “Music streaming is the future of music consumption globally, and in India, we’re only 10% of the way towards building a business useful for 500 million Indians. Tencent will be a great partner to help us enable India to access and enjoy unlimited music at their fingertips.”

“Gaana is a leading music streaming platform in India, where millions of users stay tuned to its rich music library including its exclusive Bollywood content,” said Tencent Holdings president Martin Lau.

“As more affordable mobile data plans are driving smartphone penetration in India, we believe growth in the music streaming market will accelerate. By investing in and collaborating with Gaana, we look forward to bringing more innovation and better experiences to all Indian music lovers.”

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