soundcloud-charity
Graphic: Kyle Petreycik

SoundCloud is Officially Off Death Row Thanks to $170M Rescue

For the last month, music and tech heads have been watching SoundCloud, the startup-turned-juggernaut music streaming company that had just 50 days remaining on its life expectancy at one point last month. Chance The Rapper led a spirited push to keep the company alive, but the true saviors have only just revealed themselves.

Today, the $170 million in investments that will keep Soundcloud in business have been officially announced, as is reorganization atop the company that includes long-time CEO Alex Ljung stepping aside.

Initial reports that investments from merchant bank The Raine Group and Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings would give Soundcloud the bailout package it needed have proven true today, as a news wire from the company details what it’s referring to as the “largest financing round in the history of SoundCloud.” Together, the entities will pour $169.5 million in investments into Soundcloud, boosting Soundcloud’s estimated value to $300 million. That stake, upwards of half the company’s value, will give Raine and Temasek shared control of the company.

In the release, SoundCloud explains the movement of their top officials, which includes Alexander Ljung, the company’s founder and long-time CEO, moving to a “Chairman of the Board” position, whilst former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor signs on to replace him. SoundCloud also announced the hiring of a new COO, Michael Weissman, who worked with Trainor at Vimeo.

“Now in its 10th year, I’m proud to say Soundcloud stands as an indispensable part of global music culture,” starts Ljung in a statement. “I look forward to fully dedicating my time to leading the board and helping drive SoundCloud’s long term strategic vision, and forging strategic partnerships and connections with industry partners and our one-of-a-kind creative community.”

Ljung has been hailed by many in the tech field as a pioneer for his dominance with a streaming platform built primarily off free subscriptions. However, he’s also been criticized for being too receptive to establishment principles, as well as his company’s inconsistent financial support of its users.

Regardless, Ljung sees a positive future for his company, despite the rough patches they’ve experienced in recent weeks. “Very painful” is how he described a massive round of layoffs, per Billboard. At the time, SoundCloud said that they were necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward. It’s now time to show and prove.

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