BY TOM JACKSON
The Kenya-based music service Mdundo is listing its shares on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market Denmark tomorrow following an oversubscribed pre-sale period that raised DKK40 million (US$6.4 million), in a bid to solidify its leading position in the pan-African music market.
Launched in 2013, Mdundo provides access to all the continent’s favourite music to over five million monthly active users in 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 20 million monthly downloads and streams via its website and app.
The company’s main markets are Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana, with an increasing focus on Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda, Cameroon, Congo, Malawi, South Africa and Namibia, and it has now decided on an initial public offering in Denmark, where it is headquartered.
By listing on Nasdaq First North and opening trading of its shares, which it will do tomorrow (Friday, September 4), Mdundo is aiming to secure additional funds for its ongoing expansion across new African markets and to confirm its brand as the pan-African leader in the music distribution market.
During the two-week tender period leading up to the listing date, Mdundo’s share sale offer was oversubscribed by 110 per cent, receiving subscriptions from almost 3,000 investors and raising DKK40 million (US$6.4 million).
“Mdundo currently has five million monthly users, but our potential is more than 30 times greater. With a steep growth curve and a very scalable solution, we plan to invest further in user growth to increase our market coverage to the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, so that within approximately three years we will have well established Mdundo as the leading pan-African music service for consumers and musicians. In this way, we want to achieve in Africa what Spotify has achieved in the West and what Tencent has achieved in Asia,” said Martin Nielsen, chief executive officer (CEO) of Mdundo.
In Africa, 30 per cent of mobile phone users listen to music on their mobile phone, however this is done primarily through illegal downloads, similar to the situation in Europe and the US approximately 15 years ago. Much as services like iTunes and Spotify took over that market, Mdundo is positioning itself ahead of the curve in Sub-Saharan Africa, powering the uptake of access to music through its legal music service.
The startup says it “works tirelessly” to promote legal music consumption in Africa, and has so far been instrumental in having more than one million links to illegal African music removed from Google.
“It’s one of our key focuses at Mdundo, to get people who are currently accessing music illegally in Africa to move to legal platforms. We believe in a fair and open music industry on the continent, where African artists are remunerated for their great music, and fans can listen to all the music they want at a low/affordable cost,” Nielsen said.