You just have to look at what the world’s biggest record company, Universal Music Group, has been up to of late. UMG has made Africa a clear priority in recent months, opening new offices in Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria, while licensing the biggest streaming service in the territory – Chinese-owned Boomplay – and acquiring a majority stake in historic Kenyan label AI Records.
Today, more headline-worthy activity: MBW can reveal that Mavin Records, one of Nigeria’s best-known local record labels, has secured a multi-million dollar investment from Kupanda Holdings.
Kupanda Holdings is a joint venture between pan-Africa investment company Kupanda Capital and TPG Growth. If the name TPG rings a bell, that’s because the funding house is already a significant investor in the likes of Spotify, CAA, Uber, AirBnB and STX Entertainment.
Mavin Records was founded in Lagos in 2012 by producer Don Jazzy – who formerly co-owned Mo’ Hits Records with Nigerian star D’Banj.
The label is home to local artists like Tiwa Savage, Johnny Drille, Di’ja, D’Prince and Korede Bello (pictured), whose breakout hit Do Like That has been streamed over 200m times worldwide.
Mavin’s own YouTube channel has over 680,000 subscribers, and its videos have been viewed more than 353m times on the platform to date.
Mavin told MBW that it will use Kupanda’s investment to scale its operations under the Mavin Global brand in order to meet “rapidly growing international demand” for African music. This will include growing its roster and strengthening its services across A&R, touring, marketing, distribution, publishing and partnerships.
“Our mission is to grow Mavin Global into the music powerhouse of Africa,” explained Don Jazzy (aka Michael Collins Ajereh), President and founder of Mavin Global.
“By collaborating with artists, African creatives, local and international partners, we can become a globally recognized household name and the go-to platform for connecting African music with the world.”
Over the past seven years, Mavin has leveraged digital platforms like YouTube and Instagram (where it has 1.7m followers) to target its music to local fanbases, as well as the African diaspora in the US, Europe and UK.
The firm says its new investment will enable it to strengthen this strategy, and develop brand partnerships that “support our artists’ values and stories”.
Tega Oghenejobo, Chief Operating Officer of Mavin, said: “With the resources and operational capacity Kupanda Holdings brings along with their investment, Mavin is now ready to grow our artist roster across the continent, and partner at a global scale. We are looking to build an institution that will support the fantastic creative ecosystem in Africa, and move Afrobeats to the forefront of the global industry.”
“MAVIN GLOBAL HAS A UNIQUE ADVANTAGE AND OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD THE RECORD LABEL THAT WILL ACCELERATE BRINGING AFRICAN POPULAR MUSIC TO THE WORLD.”
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with a population of 180m. Its local record industry is projected to grow rapidly with increasing smartphone penetration and the rise of digital streaming platforms.
Bobby Pittman, Managing Partner of Kupanda Holdings, said: “Between Don Jazzy’s legacy of defining the sound of modern Afrobeats and developing top African artists, Mavin Global has a unique advantage and opportunity to build the record label that will accelerate bringing African popular music to the world.
“We are impressed by the Mavin team’s experience and are pleased to partner with them in their next phase of growth.”
Mavin-signed artist Korede Bello commented: “I’m overjoyed to be part of this new era for Mavin. With the support of this team, I’m excited to release new music for my fans and connect with even more music lovers across the world.”Music Business Worldwide