Micromax invests in Gaana

This is the fifth start-up Micromax has invested in

New Delhi: Smartphone maker Micromax Informatics Ltd on Wednesday made an undisclosed strategic investment in Gaana, an online music streaming service operated by Times Internet Ltd.

This is the fifth start-up Micromax has invested in. The others are price-comparison platform Scandid run by WishPoint Inc, digital fitness app HealthifyMe (Caeruz Ventures Pvt. Ltd) and Ixigo (Le Travenues Technology Pvt. Ltd), a mobile travel search firm.

Micromax has partnered with Ixigo, MiMedia, a cloud-based online backup service, and some others, to develop strategically relevant deployments of software that leverages its consumer footprint.

Under this partnership, Gaana will be available on all Micromax smartphones, enabling users to seamlessly enjoy mobile music.

New Micromax smartphone users will also receive free trials to Gaana+, allowing unlimited downloads and no advertising. After the trial, users can continue with Gaana+ or use Gaana to access more than 10 million songs with ad-supported streaming.

Gaana was evaluating external funding options to scale up operations, Mint reported on 24 July. Gaana has more than 20 million active users. Micromax is India’s largest Android phone manufacturer, selling more than 3.5 million mobile phones every month.

This deal is part of a larger fundraising being done by Gaana over the next few months, said a person close to the development, requesting anonymity.

“The money invested by Micromax will be used towards marketing and growth. I think this is a great partnership between hardware and software; it strengthens distribution for us and adds value to the overall Micromax user experience," said Satyan Gajwani, chief executive of Times Internet, the digital arm of Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL).

BCCL, which also publishes The Economic Times and The Times of India, competes with HT Media Ltd, publisher of Mint and Hindustan Times, in several markets.