Tencent leads $50m funding in Indian music streaming platform Gaana

FILE PHOTO: WeChat mascots are displayed inside Tencent office at the TIT Creativity Industry Zone in Guangzhou, China May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd has led a $50-million (Rs 375 crore) funding round in Times Internet-owned music-streaming platform Gaana, the Indian company’s spokesperson told DealStreetAsia.

“We recently raised Rs 375 crore debt from existing shareholders, Times Internet and Tencent,” the spokesperson said without disclosing further details.

According to the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) sourced by paper.vc, Tencent has pumped in about Rs 300 crore in the latest round through its European entity Tencent Cloud B.V. The financing also saw participation of Times Internet, which has pumped in about Rs 75 crore.

Following the investment, Tencent’s holding in Gaana has increased to 34.44 per cent while Times Internet’s stake has come down to 60.18 per cent, according to an Entrackr report.

The Chinese investor first invested in Gaana in February 2018 when it led a $115-million funding round in the company for a minority stake. The current funding was much needed at a time when the online music streaming in India is gaining traction with the entry of large global players like Spotify and Google-owned YouTube Music.

The Indian music streaming market is expected to surpass $273 million by 2020, per the global market consulting firm Deloitte. Other players operating in the market include Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, JioSaavn, Hungama Music, and Apple Music.

Incubated by The Times Group in 2010, Gaana claims to be India’s leading music streaming service with over 185 million monthly active users (MAU). It is targeting to reach 250 million MAU by March 2021. After the ban of Bytedance-owned TikTok along with 58 other Chinese apps by the Indian government in July, Gaana had also launched a new platform HotShots that allows users to create and share short videos and stories.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.