What happened: Spotify-style music streaming service Boomplay recently closed a fresh round of funding to expand its businesses in the booming African market. The $20 million funding mainly came from Chinese investors including Maison Capital and Seas Capital. The company declined to disclose its current valuation. The company seeks to break into more sub-Saharan countries but will “work at a slower pace rather than taking on more funding and going too fast,” according to a corporate executive.
Why it’s important: Transsnet, the company behind Boomplay, is jointly founded by Chinese phone manufacturer Transsion and consumer internet giant NetEase, and has raised $25.5 million to date. Boomplay currently has 5 million music tracks and videos and 42 million monthly active users (MAU), a relatively modest figure given the population on the continent numbers around 1.2 billion, with an average age of 21. Boomplay is now the dominant player in the region, leveraging NetEase’s experience in the music streaming business and Transsion’s expertise in local operations. Still, it faces competition with the presence of major global players including Tidal, Spotify, and Apple Music, already in the market.