Spotify nears big new funding deal

Spotify nears big new funding deal
Photo: AFP
The music streaming service Spotify is closing in on a deal to raise $400 million (3.5 billion kronor) in capital, The Wall Street Journal reported. The funding could be in preparation for an IPO.

The funding round, Spotify’s seventh, values the music service at $8.4 billion (73 billion kronor) and is set to close in the next few weeks, sources close to the matter told the Journal.

Both Goldman Sachs and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund have agreed to invest in the round.

The company raised speculation about a possible IPO last August when it re-advertised a job for a regulatory filings expert.

But the company had not released any timeline for a stock market flotation.

Spotify was founded in 2006 by Swedes and launched in October 2008. At the end of last year had about 60 million users, of whom 15 million paid for the service.

Despite its success and popularity – last fall, Canada became the 58th country to get access to the service, and there are plans to enter Japan – Spotify still loses money. Nearly 70 percent of its revenue is paid to rights holders as royalties.

It has been under pressure to convert more of its users to paying customers, although it has defended its model, saying free services are essential to gain new customers.

The service is also under pressure from a growing list of competitors. Those include long-time foe Pandora but also planned offerings from Apple and Google as well as the streaming service Tidal, recently relaunched by rapper Jay Z. 

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