Epidemic Sound, the Swedish startup that lets video creators license music to soundtrack their work, has raised $20 million in a new funding round, at a reported $370 million valuation.
TechCrunch first broke the news, adding that the company plans to use the new funds to expand into Asia and specifically Korea, where Tik Tok (called Douyin in the region) and the growth of K-pop are fueling a surge in video creation.
Investors in the funding round include Korean firm DS Asset Management, Swedish financial group Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB) to provide debt financing, EQT Mid-Market, Atwater Capital, and notable Swedish investor Creandum, which also has stake in Spotify.
Founded in 2009, Epidemic last made headlines during Spotify's "fake artist" controversy in 2017, when Epidemic was accused of providing tracks from fictional musicians to the streamer at a discounted rate, allowing Spotify to cut costs at the expense of more prominent artists. At the time, Höglund denied those allegations.
The platform now caters to everyone from YouTubers and TikTok creators to advertising firms, film producers and even Netflix. While its catalog lacks big-name musicians, Epidemic co-founder and CEO Oscar Höglund tells TechCrunch that its biggest music creators are raking in "tens of thousands of dollars per month," with the company itself growing revenues 100 percent year-over-year. Epidemic offers musicians on the platform an upfront payment for each track the company buys, plus a 50/50 split on royalties from streaming services like Spotify, Apple and Deezer.