Taiwan's Rock Mobile has secured another round of venture capital funding as it prepares to launch a download service and an initial public offering by the end of this year.

Taiwan's Rock Mobile has secured another round of venture capital funding as it prepares to launch a download service and an initial public offering by the end of this year.

Six new Japan-based investors including Nippon Ventures and Goldman Sachs Japan injected a total of $30 million into the digital music service provider at the end of 2005.

The new round of funding dilutes Rock Record's holdings in Rock Mobile to 25%. The Taiwan-based indie remains the largest individual shareholder in Rock Mobile; its managing director Sam Duann remains chairman of the new media firm.

Duann tells Billboard.biz that the new funds will also help fund the launch of a digital download service for mainland China later this year.

The service will be based on a music rental model, with customers subscribing for unlimited downloads. An additional fee will be charged for users wanting to transfer music to MP3 players or cellphones. Pricing and terms have yet to be decided.

"I don't think we will ever have a pay per download model in Greater China, so basically the model will be monthly fee," Duann said. "There's no Apple-type super brand in this market to help drive paid downloads."

Once the key new media division of Rock Records, Rock Mobile has been fully spun off from its parent company in order to allow it freedom to pursue deals with other labels.

Since opening for business in January 2001, Rock Mobile's early investors include Acer Technology Ventures, Legend Capital, Siemens and Walden International.

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