Regardless of Spotify’s strained negotiation with the artists whose content it streams, the company reported a turnover of $887 million so far this year, according to CEO Daniel Ek, during an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri today. In 2011, Spotify raised $100 million in venture capital in its fourth round, from DST, Kleiner Perkins and Accel, achieving valuation of $1 billion. Now, in a fifth round, Spotify could grab another $200 million, putting its value at around $4 billion. But Ek says his company doesn’t exactly need the extra funds right now, and doesn’t want to exit through the stock market.
Spotify brought in $250 million in revenue in 2011, up 160%, though saw losses of around $59 million. Though Ek states, “The question of when we’ll show a profit actually feels irrelevant. Our focus is entirely on growth. It is priority one, two, three, four and five.” Spotify is presently more concerned with grabbing more users around the world, in the setting up of a legitimate subscription service. The company has been expanding, integrating with The Echo Nest music metadata platform, launching an embeddable play button widget, as well as developing a host of new apps.
Ek seeks to build Spotify into a platform that will stand the test of time, and states, “the stock exchange is not an option for us” – still, the stock market might be the only exit that investors will eventually seek. Ek goes on to say, “At those levels ($4 billion valuation), we would definitely be interested in talking. We have no need of more capital in the current situation in order to operate the business plan we have. But I have learned to always take the money when you do not need the money. If an investor can add strategic value and the valuation is good, we are interested.”
So, Ek doesn’t need the money, wants the money, but doesn’t want to go public, which leaves little by way of options for private exit for investors down the road.