Saavn, one of a handful of streaming services dedicated to India, recently received a $100 million in funding from investors headed by Tiger Global. The company plans to invest the money scaling its service and moving into video.
The company is one of a handful of locally-focused music streaming services which are battling it out as smartphones sales increase across India, bringing internet access to hundreds of millions for the first time. Other rivals include Gaana.com from media giant Times Internet, Rdio — which acquired shuttered Indian rival Dhingana and launched in India this year — and music and video service Hungama, which raised a $100 million round of its own earlier this year.
Saavn claims to now have 14 million monthly active users (MAU) and CEO and co-founder Rishi Malhotra said that the service is adding more than one million MAUs per month, and expects it to surpass 20 million MAUs by the end of the year. For comparison, Spotify which covers over 50 international markets recently claimed to have 20 million paying users.
Malhotra revealed that a whopping 90 percent of Saavn’s users are on mobile. “There are local nuances in India that you have to learn from a product perspective. For instance, Android proficiency is one of them. We became a front runner on Android streaming, that’s obviously necessary when 80 percent or more devices shipping in India are Android.”
“We want to become an entertainment ecosystem for mobile,” he continued. “That means new audio products and also video, absolutely. The exciting thing about the [Indian] market that we can be part Spotify, part Pandora, and part Netflix.”