Three years and a $3 billion dollar valuation. Not sure about you, but this has not quite settled in my mind completely yet and I had a lot of questions about the deal and what it might possibly mean for the company and the local startup scene.
So we reached out to Ilkka Paananen, the CEO of Supercell, who is the best person to answer these types of questions. In the interview, we first confirmed a few factual questions, before going into the emotional and personal ones.
Spotify is reportedly trying to raise funding at a $3.5 billion valuation. The music streaming service has blown up since expanding to the States and partnering with Facebook, but still many are skeptical with the high valuation when comparing to other services. Hulu, the U.S. TV streaming service, was going to be sold for $4 billion last fall, although they have exclusive streaming rights to many TV shows and movies.
The Swedish business paper Dagens Industri has written that they consider Spotify, the crown jewel of the Swedish internet companies currently, to be valued at around 1.6B euros (or 15 billion Swedish crowns). The paper values Spotify in comparison to the recent IPO of Pandora, which was valued at almost 3.5 billion dollars at IPO. The stock fell below its IPO price of $17 and closed yesterday at $13.26.
Earlier this week we broke the 400 000 euro investment round that Valkee managed to close from some of the top tier angels around. Talouselämä, a Finnish weekly publication, has stated that the investment event that took place this week into Valkee has valued the company at 4 million euros. Esther Dyson, Anssi Vanjoki, Jyri Engeström and Lifeline Ventures received 10% of the company for their 400 000 euro investment. In total, there were six individuals and organisations who invested into the company.
We all love Spotify here at ArcticStartup and use it everyday to listen our favorite tracks. We also know that it was not cheap to begin with for the VCs to invest in Spotify even though it was (and still is) the early days, since the founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon had plenty of experience, capital of their own and know what they were doing. But if you thought it was expensive before, the Times Online reports that "Spotify is trying to drum up a valuation of close to £200m (roughly €230m) as it seeks new investment of between £20m (€23m) and £30m (€35m)."
Times Online further reports that If it Spotify achieves the valuation it aims for, the company will have almost trebled in value since it sold a £13m stake last autumn to Nordic investors Northzone Ventures and Creandum.
We are excited and for once, think the high valuation is for a very good reason. Just recently in an investor forum I heard a VC who had invested in Spotify proudly stating that Spotify is the next Skype, meaning that it will be the next big Internet service success story coming from the region. They certainly have the right direction and I don't think I have seen any company have the same potential since. Regardless of whether Spotify ever reaches a $2.6 billion exit (with current exchange rate some €1.87 billion), or exit at all for that matter, I, for one, would invest in a heart beat.
Openbit, a Finnish Tampere based provider of on-device payment and DRM solutions for mobile applications, and Tanla Solutions, Indian telecommunications software and services provider have announced today that Tanla buys 85 % of Openbit for $US 15.81M / EUR 10.2M in cash. The valuation is therefore at EUR 12M, 23.5 times Openbit's EBITDA (EUR 0.51M) from the fiscal year 2007.
The remaining 15% is still owned by the management and will be acquired by Tanla in two parts, 5% after the first year and 10% after the second. Openbit has been one of the fastest growing companies in Finland in terms of revenue growth, ranking third in the Deloitte’s Finnish Technology Fast 50 list of 2007.
Seems like a potentially very good match for both companies. Openbit should be able to expand their channels and partners faster in Asia and North America, and Tanla gets extensive foothold in Europe.
Congrats to Openbit for the work well done so far!
See Tanla's press release (PDF) for more information.