Spotify are already the biggest music streaming service in the world and they’re now looking for major funding to push them even further.
A week after Deezer raised an impressive $109 million in funding, Spotify announce they’re looking for five times that in trade for convertible IPO shares, according to Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet and confirmed by TechCrunch. Spotify are reportedly looking to gain $500 million for “acquisitions to further marketplace consolidation”.
CrunchBase say that Spotify have in the past raised $1.56 billion in 8 funding rounds from 26 investors. Now they look to raise a third of their total funding in one round but are offering 4% on the borrowed money as they’re describing the funding as a loan rather than a direct investment. As the funding isn’t an equity round contributors will reportedly have the option to convert their loaned money into Spotify shares in a potential Initial Public Offering (IPO) for the company.
A spokesperson for Spotify declined to comment on any possible IPO process however sources suggest that it is likely to happen, though no date has been set. In regards to what the money will be spent on Spotify have been vague although one source suggests it could be used for opportunities in new markets. Could this mean expanding outside of their music streaming roots? It’s not a long shot as Spotify recently purchased two tech startups and released their new Shows feature – non-music related videos on Spotify.
Reportedly, investors approached by Spotify aren’t being easily swayed into their new round of funding, citing increased competition as encroaching on Spotify’s current runaway success. Presumably this is in reference to last year’s introduction of two new major streaming services, Apple Music and Tidal, as well as the rapid growth of competitors like Deezer.
The nature of the funding is also cause for concern for some potential funders as they say they would like a more standard IPO process for better transparency on Spotify’s finances and revenue-generating potential. They have a right to be wary as Spotify remains a startup that is yet to be profitable, despite it’s veteran status, however this is largely down to Spotify’s endeavours to continuously invest in a better, broader service for users and artists rather than storing their profits.
Spotify was last valued at more than $8.5 billion after raising $526 million in a round of funding last June. Past investors have included Telia, DST, Creandum, Fidelity, Accel, Founders Fund, Northzone, and KPCB to name but a few.
Spotify are clearly established as a major tech company and currently hold the title of the world’s largest music streaming service, with more than 100 million estimated users. However despite it’s successes it faces competition from rival tech companies whose music offerings stand as complements to existing services, as opposed to being their lone business model, such as Amazon Prime, Microsoft Groove and Apple Music.