Smule announces strategic investment of over $20 million from Times Bridge in India
This is Times Bridge's third investment this year, after investing in MUBI and Houzz
Published - 18-October-2018
Social network for music Smule on Thursday announced a strategic investment from Times Bridge, the global investments and partnerships arm of The Times Group. This long-term partnership with Times Bridge will give Smule a strategic edge as it scales up operations in India, its second-largest international market, the company said in a statement.
Smule currently boasts of 50 million monthly active users. On Smule, users are able to collaborate with and listen to all types of music, with anyone from anywhere in the world. Times Bridge has entered into a strategic partnership with Smule and concluded an investment worth over $20 million in the company. This is Times Bridge's third investment this year, after investing in MUBI and Houzz, in their bid to expand their existing investment portfolio of innovative consumer tech companies.
Times Bridge will also guide Smule in engaging India’s multi-lingual music culture. Leveraging its network of media assets, Times Bridge will partner on varied aspects such as community building, collaborations with top artists, targeted regional programmes and advertising. Smule is the first social music platform to partner with Times Bridge in India.
With this investment, Smule plans to increase its exposure in the Indian digital music market and grow the market organically. Smule is keen to tap into India’s flourishing diverse music culture. In May 2017, Smule raised $54 million in a financing round led by Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Talking about the partnership, Jeffrey Smith, Smule’s CEO and Co-founder, said, “Indian audiences are passionate about connecting through music. We want to enhance those connections in an authentic way and we are thrilled to partner with Times Bridge to marshal the best of The Times Group on Smule’s behalf.”
“Smule is about empowering our community to do more of what they love – from singing with their favourite celebrities to collaborating with friends to discovering new music. We're thrilled to find a partner that both shares our vision and has the cultural insights and market reach to deliver it,” Smith added.
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Rishi Jaitly, CEO of Times Bridge, said, "Times Bridge’s mission is to bring the world’s best ideas to India and share India’s best insights with the world. Smule is a deeply original, bold idea with a mission of changing the way the world experiences music. Our investment will advance Smule’s music mission across the Indian subcontinent and unlock the creativity of many millions along the way. We are delighted to be working with a partner who approaches India with the empathy, conviction and optimism that the Indian market warrants.”