After months of speculation about SoundCloud’s financial health, today might just be the most important day in the music-streaming service’s history.
Its current shareholders must decide whether to approve a proposal for $169.5m of new funding from investors including Raine Group and Temasek, valuing the company at just $150m. CEO Alexander Ljung has warned that the alternative may not be a positive scenario.
“Financing of this size will enable to Company to pay off its remaining debt, while ensuring a strong, independent future,” wrote Ljung, according to Axios, which obtained a copy of the document sent to existing shareholders in SoundCloud.
“In the event that the transaction does not close and in the vent SoundCloud does not otherwise obtain additional funding, based on current cashflow forecasts, SoundCloud faces liquidity concerns in the near term.”
Ljung himself may have near-term changes ahead if the funding does go through. Recode has separately reported that the reorganisation proposals include hiring former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor to replace Ljung as SoundCloud CEO, although the latter would remain as chairman of the company’s board.
“Trainor would also bring in a new chief operating officer, according to investor documents that lay out details of the new round,” claimed Recode.
As we’ve noted before, all of this is merely the attempts to ensure that SoundCloud can survive. Figuring out how it can actually prosper is a completely different kettle of fish.
From its product features to its subscription strategy, SoundCloud has a lot of work to do in order to re-establish what makes it different from the biggest music-streaming services, and then to build a sustainable business from that difference.
Setting out a clear vision for this will be a crucial task for the CEO – whoever that is once the dust settles – but persuading the company’s existing shareholders to approve the investment plans are the first step. All eyes on SoundCloud today.