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SoundCloud stays afloat with emergency investment, as CEO steps aside

SoundCloud stays afloat with emergency investment, as CEO steps aside


CEO Alex Ljung will be replaced with former Vimeo CEO

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

SoundCloud today announced that it has closed the investor round necessary to keep it going for the foreseeable future. As part of the agreement, Alex Ljung will step aside and former Vimeo leader Kerry Trainor will become SoundCloud’s new CEO, with Mike Weissman as COO. Ljung will stay on to “fully focus on the role of the chairman and the long-term.” Billboard reports the exact amount of the investment is $169.5 million, which, says Ljung, makes this infusion “the largest financing round in the history of SoundCloud.”

“the largest financing round in the history of SoundCloud”

"All of this together — the capital, the capital partners — with Kerry and Mike joining our team — it puts our company in a really great position to stay strong and remain independent," Ljung tells Billboard. "We see a strong, independent future for the company."

Trainor tells Billboard he will endeavor to pay greater attention to the creators, which includes developing a “robust creative toolkit” for SoundCloud’s Unlimited service in hopes of attracting even more musicians to pay for its upper-tier subscription. "Millions of creators choose these tools to share their work with the world,” says Trainor, “[and] that will remain at the focus and center of the company."

Yesterday, Axios revealed details of a SoundCloud shareholder memo that said the future of the company hinged on a pending reorganization proposal. Though the exact details of that proposal have not been revealed, it appears it was accepted. As part of the new investment, per the memo, SoundCloud’s new and existing investors will receive Series F stock, a special class of common stock that has seniority and preference, while existing Series E investors will have their liquidity preference cut by over 40 percent.