SoundCloud looking to raise $150 million at $1.2 billion valuation

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SoundCloud is in discussions to raise new funding to the tune of $150 million at a valuation of more than $1.2 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to two sources familiar with the negotiations, the music platform is looking to raise money as it works to secure licensing deals with major labels. The current financial negotiations bookend a busy year for SoundCloud, which also kicked off 2014 with fundraising of $60 million.

If SoundCloud successfully secures its high valuation and large funding, then it may be in a better position to play ball with Universal Music Group or Sony Music Entertainment. (Warner Music Group has already inked a deal with SoundCloud.) That would be a big step for SoundCloud, which is also started experimenting with new business models this year to help generate revenue for itself and for labels.

In addition to securing a legal foothold, more money could help SoundCloud compete with other top streaming services. Spotify raised $250 million last year, Beats Music now has the vast coffers of Apple at its back, and Google’s billions are at YouTube Music Key’s disposal, so rival platforms are working with impressive chunks of change. Fortunately, SoundCloud is already performing well in terms of audience size and available content: more than 175 million unique listeners each month and about 12 hours of audio uploaded each minute. However, new funding could lead to new features for those listeners and better support for the musicians and DJs.

Anna Washenko

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