SoundCloud has lost two high level executives in what could be a collar-pulling year for the Berlin-based streaming platform. On Monday, the company confirmed with the Financial Times that chief operating officer Marc Strigel and finance director Markus Harder have departed. "After five or so years, they felt it was time to move on to new adventures," a spokesperson said.
But the FT added some vinegar to what could've been a ho-hum staffing report by quoting an anonymous "German financier" as saying the company is out there "begging for money" from investors. The source added, "but I wouldn't give them any right now... they need to rethink their valuation and settle for a [lower valued] round."
SoundCloud is indeed seeking funds -- startups do that -- and in a financial filing in January, co-founder Alexander Ljung did warn that, while they believe they've got enough in the bank to meet obligations through year's end, certain "risks and uncertainties may cause the company to run out of cash earlier than that date, and would require the Group to raise additional funds which are not currently planned."
A SoundCloud spokesperson responded to the "begging" accusation in a new statement, saying the company is currently fundraising like "most startups of our size and in our phase of growth." The rep added, "That the Financial Times would compromise its journalistic standards to include an anonymous quote characterizing this normal course fundraising as 'desperation' is disappointing and surprising for a newspaper of record."
SoundCloud said Strigel and Harder's departures are "unrelated to our normal course of fundraising efforts, which are being led by our recently appointed Chief Financial Officer, Holly Lim. SoundCloud remains in a position of strength and is confident in its long-term prospects as it continues to be the go to platform for the creative community."
Founded in 2007 by Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, SoundCloud has raised over $193 million in six funding rounds, the latest led by Twitter, according to CrunchBase. The company launched its on-demand streaming service Go in March of last year, and a few months later was rumored to be seeking prospective buyers.