Martin Nielsen is the co-founder and CEO of Mdundo. He moved to Kenya in 2012 as Entrepreneur in Residence for 88mph, an African investment fund with focus on early stage tech startups in Kenya. Mdundo has the past 3 years grown to one of Africa’s leading music services with more than 1,000,000 active users every month primarily from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria. The company works with 30,000 musicians across Africa and provides music lovers easy and affordable access to music. I interviewed Martin, and here is what he had to say;
Que: What inspired you to move to Kenya?
Ans: Two factors, there’s a lot of opportunities here in Kenya. The market is not very crowded and there isn’t a lot of competition here as well as a number of obvious issues to be resolved. The apparent gaps in the market makes it a great place for entrepreneurs. Secondly, I was very inspired about the motivation and willingness for the talented youth in the region, there’s a believe and faith in the future.
Que: How did you meet with the other co-founder?
Ans: A few colleagues and I started exploring the music industry and as a result we founded Mdundo. The CTO and myself jumped ship and since then we have been the senior management of Mdundo. At the time we had a number of conversations with Frasha, a musician from P-unit, to understand the music industry better and he became a c0-founder as well.
Que: What inspired Mdundo?
Ans: The music industry is very chaotic and all the stakeholders seemed to be losing. I was inspired by the bad state of the industry. Every single Kenyan listens to music and still no one seems to be able to build a sustainable industry? Mdundo tries to fill all these gaps and to make music accessible and beneficial for the musicians.
Que: How do you find Kenyan music? Have you ever heard of Ohangla?
Ans: I love Kenyan music, I listen to hundreds of songs every week. Ohangla doesn’t ring a bell.
Que: Who is your favorite Kenyan musician?
Ans: I generally love Kenyan music, I won’t highlight a particular song or genre, as every style and sounds fit with different moments and moods.
Que: What other creative business would you venture into?
Ans: Music is a passion of mine and our job is to create a tool for musicians to get their creative works seen and fans to consume it. Distribution is our piece of the puzzle and we’re not getting into production or any other activities involved in creating music.
Que: What is the next step for Mdundo?
Ans: We aim to be the easiest way to access music for Africans across the continent.