TuneIn Inc., the digital-radio service, raised $25 million in a new funding round led by Institutional Venture Partners as the company tries to ramp up efforts to attract users and advertisers.
The round, which follows a $16 million investment last year, includes existing investors Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures and General Catalyst Partners, according to the company. TuneIn also announced it hired Axel Martinez, formerly an assistant treasurer at Google Inc. (GOOG), as its chief financial officer, who will assist with investing the new funds.
TuneIn, which competes with Pandora Media Inc. (P) and Spotify Ltd., offers mobile-device users access to about 70,000 radio stations from around the world, including music, talk, sports and news. The latest funding will be used to roll out products and expand services to bolster revenue that’s shared with radio stations, said John Donham, chief executive officer of TuneIn.
“What we see is a market opportunity that’s just massive,” Donham said. “Ninety percent of the planet listens to radio any given month, and yet TuneIn has only well over 40 million users at this point. I think our goal is, how does that transition from tens of millions to hundreds of millions?”
As part of its efforts to attract more listeners, TuneIn recently introduced a new service that adds personalization tools to help users find radio stations and songs. The Palo Alto, California-based company said members have racked up more than 1 billion listening hours so far this year.
“Radio hasn’t changed in a hundred years, and TuneIn is finally bringing radio into the digital age,” said Jules Maltz, a general partner at IVP who joined TuneIn’s board of directors. “TuneIn allows us to have a fundamentally different and richer radio experience.”
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