Smule’s founder once said that “music was the original social network” and with major new funding they’re making music more social around the world.
Smule started with a humble mission, to draw people in with fun and engaging apps that got them involved with music before they even knew they were doing anything musical. It’s since expanded into a massively popular app with 52 million users around the world every month coming together to sing and make music social again.
The company has just revealed another $20 million raised in funding following a £54 million round last May led by Tencent. Smule’s newest funds come primarily from Times Bridge, a subsidiary of Indian media conglomerate The Times Group. Their funding has been named a “strategic investment” and will see Smule strengthening and expanding their operations in India, which is currently the app’s second largest market internationally.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Smule CEO and co-founder, Jeffrey Smith said: “Building the Smule brand in India is a long term process, but a critical facet of realising our vision to connect the world through music. We are therefore thrilled to expand our reach in India through this significant partnership with Times Bridge.”
The CEO of The Time’s Group’s VC wing, Times Bridge CEO Rishi Jaitly, 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.”
The partnership will see connections created with local artists in India by Times Bridge for Smule’s international app.