Written on the 6 March 2015 by Jenna Rathbone


IN just four short months, Gold Coast music-streaming group Guvera has grown its user base from 1.5 million to more than nine million.

This is on the back of the company's recent acquisition of British music streaming company Blinkbox from supermarket giant Tesco, and a partnership with multinational technology PC company Lenovo which sees the Guvera app pre-loaded on all smartphones.

Chief executive and co-founder of Guvera Darren Herft (pictured below) says the company wasn't looking for acquisition opportunities when it came across Blinkbox, however jumped at the chance at entering the UK market which was a "missing link" for the business.

"Blinkbox has a very active user base and monthly active user base which was something that was of real attraction to us," says Herft.

"It has a very strong brand and a strong following in the UK. What we really liked about it was the ability for us to overlay the Guvera branded strategy where brands can connect with consumers, and obviously generate revenue."

Blinkbox, which was initially known as WE7 and rebranded by Tesco, has more than 2.5 million registered app users and one million active users.

Along with the UK, Guvera has a presence in Australia, New Zealand, America, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and India.

The company is an ad-supported and subscription-based music streaming company which provides users to access music legally.  Music is ultimately paid for by the advertiser and music labels are paid a streaming fee so that artists receive royalties.

In 2009, Guvera submitted patent applications for specific algorithms to match brands and advertisers with specific target consumers.  Those algorithms were recently approved.

"Brands are looking to pay higher premium advertising rates when they can actually target specific consumers based on demographic profiling," says Herft.

Herft also describes the company's partnership with Lenovo as significant in the rapid growth of the business.

"Lenovo has grown very quickly in the smartphone market over the past three years, so that partnership where Guvera is pre-installed on every smartphone and tablet that Lenovo distributes in the market has certainly contributed significantly to our growth," he says.

"And in some respects, it has focused us on key markets globally. If you take India, for example, we have only been open there for just over 20 weeks and already we have over two million registered users."

Herft says Lenovo last week sold 20,000 smartphones in four seconds through India-based Flipkart, an e-commerce company that has 50 per cent market share.  Every one of those phones came with Guvera pre-installed as the music streaming solution.

Guvera is currently not active in China, however it is expected that through the Lenovo partnership the Robina-headquartered company will be expanding to the region soon, along with the Philippines.

Guvera is already established in Indonesia and, along with India, China and the Philippines, these markets have a combined population of more than three billion people.

"We are focusing on emerging markets, as opposed to competitors who have moved into more traditional and western markets," says Herft.

"These consumers are getting access to smartphones for the first time and they want access to content such as entertainment and music. But you need to provide that to them in a way that they can afford and is easy."

While acquisitions are not a priority for Guvera, Herft says the company would consider further opportunities. In 2015, Guvera's main aim is to grow in emerging markets.

Guvera was founded by Herft, Claes Loberg and Brad Christiansen in 2008.

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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