Kenya-Based Music Platform, Mdundo Raises $6.4m to Expand Across Africa
Pan-African music streaming/download platform, Mdundo has raised $6.4 million in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to fund its expansion across Africa.
Mdundo had earlier this month listed on the Danish Stock Exchange, Nasdaq First North Growth Market. According to reports, close to 3000 investors participated in the IPO.
We’ve seen success stories coming out of here like Spotify coming from Sweden. Investors will understand what we’re doing and understand the massive potential there is in transforming a huge illegal music market to a legal one.Martin Nielsen, Mdundo CEO and Co-founder
Mdundo was founded by Martin Nielsen, Francis Amisi, Jura Sidorenko and Kresten Buch in 2012. Martin Nielsen, from Denmark, also doubles as the company CEO.
The music service offers free unlimited access to a large library of Africa’s favourite songs across various genres via its website and app.
Mdundo currently operates in 15 Sub-Saharan African countries where users can stream or download their music of choice. The company has a heavy presence in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana.
Other African countries where the music service is gaining traction include South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda, Congo and Malawi.
The music startup has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Mdundo says it has up to 3.5 million active monthly users on its music platform from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana. Across Africa, more than 5 million people use its music service per month.
In 2017, Mdundo signed a licensing deal with Warner Music Group. According to Martin, the platform generated $0.3 million in ad sales last year and has successfully signed up 80,000 African artists.
A total catalog of 1.5 million songs are available for streaming or download via the Mdundo app or website.
Mdundo Offers Free Legal Music Streaming/Download
Mdundo allows users to stream or download their favourite songs without having to pay a fee. Users only require good internet connection and mobile data to use its music service.
Although the Mdundo music platform is free-to-use, it generates revenues through sponsored ads on its song. The ad plays before a song starts. Artists signed up to the service reportedly get a 50% share of ad revenues generated from songs.
In Africa, many mobile phone users download/stream music through illegal sites. Mdundo says it is working to promote the consumption of music through legal platforms in Africa. Speaking on this, Martin Nielsin said:
It’s one of our key focuses at Mdundo, to get people who are currently accessing music illegally in Africa to move to legal platforms.
“We believe in a fair and open music industry on the continent, where African artists are remunerated for their great music, and fans can listen to all the music they want at a low/affordable cost,” he added.
Previous Funding and Expansion Plans
According to Crunchbase, Mdundo raised an undisclosed amount from angel investors in 2018. The company had raised $300,000 also from angel investors in 2015.
In 2013, Mdundo raised a total of $225,000 via a funding round and angel investment. It also raised an additional $150,000 in 2014.
Speaking on the company’s expansion plans, Mdundo CEO Martin Nielsin said:
Mdundo currently has five million monthly users, but our potential is more than 30 times greater. With a steep growth curve and a very scalable solution, we plan to invest further in user growth to increase our market coverage to the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, so that within approximately three years we will have well established Mdundo as the leading pan-African music service for consumers and musicians.
The company has said that it plans to evolve into a global music platform giant in Africa by 2023.
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