SoundCloud saved by new investor deal; new CEO and COO; founder steps down

Kerry Trainor

SoundCloud has reached an agreement with two investors to close a new round of financing. The Raine Group and Temasek have agreed to supply the service with “the largest financing round in the history of SoundCloud.” The blog post announcing the deal did not give a number value for the investment, but the leak we reported yesterday set the worth of the Series F round at $169.5 million.

Alexander Ljung shared today’s news in a blog post. He also said that he will be stepping down from the CEO post, although the co-founder will still be involved as SoundCloud’s chairman. The partnership with Raine and Temasek will see two former Vimeo execs joining SoundCloud’s upper echelon. Kerry Trainor is the new CEO after holding the same position at the video platform. Mike Weissman is the new COO; he held the same post at Vimeo.

Alexander Ljung

“As I said,” Ljung wrote, “we’re not going anywhere.”

The deal brings a long chapter of uncertainty to a close. SoundCloud’s recent narrative has been around personnel changes, with several new hires and departures in the past year, and a 40% cut to its total workforce. While the cash influx from the two investors could help stabilize the HR revolving door, the broader story for SoundCloud is not yet resolved. The company has transitioned from a totally free place for hosting any user-generated music content to a more traditional streaming platform, with label licensing deals, ads for free listeners, and two paid subscription options. That pivot seems to be the real source of SoundCloud’s troubles, and we’ll be looking for more definite strategic guidance from the company and its new leaders as to how the business will navigate the challenges of today’s music market.

Anna Washenko