KKBOX, a Taiwan-based company that has provided streaming music services in Asia since before Spotify was founded, announced (link in Chinese) that it has raised $104 million from Singapore GIC (formerly known as the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation).
KKBOX co-founder and CEO Chris Lin said that the funds will be used to develop the company’s tech platform and services, as well as continue expanding into overseas markets.
The compnay currently has 10 million users and offers streaming music services in six Asian markets: Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Other investors include KDDI, Japan’s second-largest telecommunications company, HTC, and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom.
KKBOX was founded in 2004 and currently has deals with 500 international and local music labels that allow it to stream over 10 million tracks. In addition to its streaming music services, KKBOX also publishes a montly print magazine about music and holds an annual music awards show in Taiwan. KKBOX first started expanding overseas in 2009, starting with Hong Kong. Since 2013, however, it has had to compete with Spotify, which launched in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia that year. It is now also available in the Philippines and Taiwan.
In 2013, KKBOX also began aggressively expanding, launching in Malaysia and Singapore. It has said it also plans to move into Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines this year.
KKBOX previously told TechCrunch that its competitive advantage against Western competitors like Spotify is its ability to strike deals with local music labels, which take a 70 percent to 85 percent market share over Western labels, as well as localized features like rolling karaoke-style lyrics and in-app chats and events with artists.