SoundCloud approves investment to stay afloat, ushers in new CEO
Rest assured, Soundcloud’s been saved— and the company’s in good hands.
Following the reassurance the company was going to stay afloat just last week thanks to two “angel investors,” since confirmed to be The Raine Group and Temasek Holdings, the company’s at last secured its last round of investments following an approval by its board.
The Raine Group, a boutique merchant bank, joined in part by the Singapore-based investment company Temasek, were, at last, approved of their $169.5 million investment round that will inject some much-needed cash into the streaming giant.
Former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor will be succeeding SoundCloud’s founder Alex Ljung as the company’s chief executive—while Lijuing will remain part of the company’s independent future—serving on SoundCloud’s board.
“All of this together — the capital, the capital partners — with Kerry and Mike joining our team — it puts our company in a really great position to stay strong and remain independent,” Ljung told Billboard in an interview. “We see a strong, independent future for the company.”
Speaking on the future of the company, Trainor expressed his desire to open artistic experimentation, even more, upping the platform’s unique identity in the digital music space.
“SoundCloud is the largest open audio platform in the world,” he told Billboard. “Millions of creators choose these tools to share their work with the world — that will remain at the focus and center of the company.”
Throughout his experience running Vimeo—a video platform created by and for filmmakers— Trainor gained considerable experience that he explained will inform his work at SoundCloud, as he places greater emphasis on developing tools for musicians, DJs, and other creators. Also explaining to Billboard, Trainor said he hopes to increase the reach of the streaming service amongst creators, by expanding its creative toolkit.
So far SoundCloud is successfully reviving itself, as its last reported user rate was near 170 million users worldwide, seeing double-digit gains in upload subscribers, uploads, listening time and listener subscriptions. Total revenue has also more than doubled, at a $100 million annual run-rate this year.
“There is only one SoundCloud. It’s unique. We just closed out the first decade and created a really unique platform that impacts global music every day,” said Ljung. “I’m really excited about the next decade.”
Brighter days and steady streaming lie ahead.