Our friends over at Tech.eu have reported on an interesting development in the Soundcloud story…
DiGITAL claims it has seen company filings from the Swedish-founded audio sharing platform operator that indicate the company has secured the loan with Tennenbaum Capital Partners, an American alternative investment firm that specialises in credit and ‘special refinancing situations’. Furthermore, SoundCloud reportedly has an option to loan another 600 million Swedish krona (€64.5 million) through convertible bons.
The report is in line with what we’ve heard – in fact, we’ve been persistently picking up on industry rumours that SoundCloud had trouble even securing debt funding and that it has been considering an outright sale. Almost two years ago, Twitter was reportedly sniffing around SoundCloud for a purchase.
At the end of 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that SoundCloud was raising $150 million in venture capital at a valuation in excess of $1.2 billion, but it has been quiet about any fundraising efforts ever since. As the streaming wars continue to heat up, with giants like Spotify, Apple and Pandora duking it out, SoundCloud has been able to grow its community even though sales have been sluggish despite various efforts to monetise its user base.
Last Summer, Bloomberg shone a bright light on SoundCloud, which at the time had roughly 175 million users uploading approximately 12 hours worth of audio every minute. The magazine noted its difficulties generating sufficient revenue and its challenges in securing licensing deals with major labels and other music copyright holders.
At the end of last year, SoundCloud announced that it had signed a key licensing agreement with PRS for Music, the music rights holder that launched legal action against the Berlin company in August. In June 2015, SoundCloud inked a similar deal with licensing agency Merlin, and negotiations with others are ongoing. The company signed Warner Music Group in 2014.
SoundCloud has raised over $120 million in VC from the likes of Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Institutional Venture Partners. Last time it disclosed revenue, in 2013, SoundCloud announced a $29 million loss on $14 million in revenues.
“We can confirm that we secured a flexible credit line with Tennenbaum Capital Partners (TCP) early in 2015. It’s an attractive option for companies like SoundCloud that have a solid credit rating, and offers an appropriate funding option for a company at our growth stage.” – Soundcloud spokesperson