The largest Indian streaming platform, Gaana, has raised the equivalent of just over $50 million in debt from Tencent Cloud Europe and Time Internet, reports Indian startup news site Inc42.
Tencent’s involvement accounts for nearly $41 million of the deal in a new allocation of shares, with Times Internet, the majority owner, making up the rest. Gaana also took out a $5 million loan last week. Tencent now has a near-35% stake in Gaana.
Gaana recently announced that it has 185 million active monthly users, cementing its status as the country’s biggest audio streaming service – although paying streamers are only a small percentage of overall listener numbers.
Tensions between the Indian and Chinese governments are still heightened, leading to a ban on apps of Chinese origin, including TikTok. Tencent has been an investor in Gaana since 2018, and while this new deal might suggest Gaana is confident that Chinese investment won’t bring any unwanted attention, perhaps it’s meaningful that this round of investment was via the Dutch-based entity Tencent Cloud Europe B.V.