Online music service SoundCloud saved by $170 million investment

By Daniel Uria  |  Aug. 12, 2017 at 1:02 PM
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Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Digital music service SoundCloud will continue to operate following a new investment round.

SoundCloud founder Alexander Ljung confirmed the music-sharing platform is "isn't going away" after being boosted by a $169.5 million investment from The Raine Group and Temasek.

The Germany-based service had fallen on financial difficulties in recent times. Soundcloud disclosed steps it would take to cut its overhead costs last month, which included 173 layoffs.

"I'm happy to announce that together with investors The Raine Group and Temasek we've just wrapped up the largest financing round in the history of SoundCloud," Ljung wrote on Friday. "This financing means SoundCloud remains strong and independent. As I said, SoundCloud is here to stay."

Ljung also announced that Kerry Trainor and Michael Weissman, former executives of video-sharing platform Vimeo, will take over as CEO and COO of SoundCloud, respectively.

"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. "We see a strong, independent future for the company."

Ljung will continue to serve as chairman and co-founder Eric Wahlforss will stay with SoundCloud as chief product officer.

"After a decade of balancing the roles of Founder, CEO and Chairman I'm excited to hand the CEO reins over to Kerry to allow me to fully focus on the role of the Chairman and the long-term," Ljung said. "This, I know, sets us up as an even greater team for the decade(s) to come."

Trainor plans to emphasize developing tools for musicians, DJs and other creators to use on SoundCloud, as he did with video creators on Vimeo by charging subscribers to use the video-sharing, marketing and analytics tools.

"SoundCloud is the largest open audio platform in the world," Trainor said. "Millions of creators choose these tools to share their work with the world -- that will remain at the focus and center of the company."

SoundCloud last reported about 170 million users and saw significant increases in creator subscriptions, uploads, listening time and listener subscriptions over the past 12 months.

"SoundCloud, just like music, will continue to evolve, but importantly, both will always be a key part of life," Ljung said.

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