Former Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin Acquires Minority Stake In Saavn

Music streaming service Saavn roped in a big name for their advisory board. Arun Sarin, former CEO of Vodafone has acquired a minority stake in the music streaming site and will take an advisory role at the India-based company. The amount invested by Sarin has not been disclosed. After investing in Ola, this is the second investment by Sarin in last three months.


Recently, Saavn had raised £100 million from Tiger global Management, existing investors Bertelsmann India Investments, Steadview Capital, Liberty Media , Quilvest and Mousse Partners. Like industry leader Spotify, Saavn has both freemium and paid subscription tiers. Earlier this week, we reported that Deezer is planning an IPO later this year as the battle with rivals Spotify and Apple Music heats up. Also, Google Play Music continues to expand with its official entry into Japan a few weeks ago

“There is a huge opportunity that I see in the Indian Internet space. The growth that one has seen in the smartphone market is phenomenal and falling data rates will only drive Internet usage up in the country,” Sarin told PTI.

“Music streaming is a core app on today’s smartphones and Saavn is superbly positioned to grow rapidly in the fast expanding smartphone market in India,” he added. In July, Sarin had invested an undisclosed amount into Ola (run by ANI Technologies) and had joined the Bangalore-based firm as an independent director.

“With over 90 per cent of our usage driven by smartphones, Saavn users are moving data plan transactions and driving data engagement at an incredible pace. In the coming months, you’ll see us work more deeply with carriers in India and additional territories,” Saavn co-founder and CEO Rishi Malhotra said. “Sarin brings unmatched industry insight, experience and instincts to Saavn’s business,” he added.

Since 2014 Saavn has witnessed ten times increase in daily active users in India and an average of a quarter billion streams per month. Saavn has also expanded its catalogue to 20 million tracks.