Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today announced that it has signed an agreement to for combination of Saavn with JioMusic. The combined entity is valued at over US$1 billion, with JioMusic’s implied valuation at US$ 670 million. “The integrated business will be developed into a media platform of the future with global reach, cross-border original content, an independent artist marketplace, consolidated data and one of the largest mobile advertising mediums,” said RIL.
Reliance will also invest up to US$100 million (Rupee equivalent), out of which US$20 million (Rupee equivalent) will be invested upfront, for growth and expansion of the platform into one of the largest streaming services in the world. The company will continue to operate the over-the-top media platform available on all app stores. The three co-founders of Saavn, Rishi Malhotra, Paramdeep Singh and Vinodh Bhat, will continue in their leadership roles and will drive growth of the combined entity.
In addition, Reliance is acquiring partial stake from the existing shareholders of Saavn for US$104 million, while these shareholders retain their balance stake. The shareholder base of Saavn includes Tiger Global Management, Liberty Media and Bertelsmann among others.
The combined entity plans to invest aggressively to accelerate growth that would benefit all aspects of the ecosystem, including users, music labels, artists and advertisers. The combined platform will also build on Saavn’s award-winning Original Programming, Artist Originals (AO). The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
Commenting on the strategic transaction, Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio, said:
The investment and combination of our music assets with Saavn underlines our commitment to further boost the digital ecosystem and provide unlimited digital entertainment services to consumers over a strong uninterrupted network. We are delighted to announce this partnership with Saavn, and believe that their highly experienced management team will be instrumental in expanding Jio-Saavn to an extensive user base, thereby strengthening our leadership position in the Indian streaming market.
Rishi Malhotra, Co-Founder and CEO at Saavn, said:
Nearly 10 years ago, we had a vision to build a connected music platform, dedicated to South Asian culture across the globe. Vin, Param and I always envisioned the company for the long term with intense focus on products, data, and ground-breaking original content. Our alignment with Reliance enables us to create one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most capable media platforms in the world.
Paramdeep Singh, Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman at Saavn, added:
Saavn has been at the forefront of the digital music revolution in India. Our partnership with Reliance reinforces our commitment to the growth of our label partners, the independent artist ecosystem, and the overall music industry globally.