Simfy, the so-called German Spotify, has raised an additional €10m from existing investors, including Earlybird, NRW Bank, Dumont Venture and Klaus Wecken. That brings its funding to date to €18 million.
The new funds will be used to consolidate its leading position in German-speaking countries – the music streaming service operates in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – as well as for “expansion into other European countries”, says CEO Gerrit Schumann.
Similar to Spotify and the UK’s We7, Simfy provides both a free, ad-supported version and a paid-for premium offering that includes mobile app support with off-line playback. Its pricing is pretty much on-par with competitors, although unlike Spotify it doesn’t cap the number of free listening hours. Whether or not it can maintain that luxury when entering additional markets is unclear. I’ve argued before that the economics of free, unlimited music streaming don’t make sense. Schumann, however, says that Simfy has no plans to limit the service.
Again, like Spotify, Simfy is looking for partnerships to broaden the reach and appeal of its service. Last November it forged an alliance with the German social network VZ networks and boasts O2 as a partner, a sign of a wider B2B strategy whereby simfy wants to bundle its music streaming service with social networks, internet service providers, cable operators and mobile network operators – and is seen as “key to scaling both our service and brand within Germany and for our planned internationalization”, says the company.
It’s also a strategy that Spotify has tried with mixed success, while companies like Sweden-based Aspiro offer a fully white-labeled service.
To that end, Simfy has hinted at another big partnership with “one of the largest European TV networks” due to be announced as early as next week.