Deezer raises $185m as new investment values company at over $1bn

Spotify rival Deezer has secured another €160m ($185m) investment from a group of investors.

This group includes existing investors such as Access Industries and Orange, in addition to the Kingdom Holding Company and Rotana. The final investor in the €160m round was LBO France.

According to a press release, the new investment values Deezer at €1bn ($1.2bn) – despite the fact it comes less than three years after the company had to abandon an IPO on the Paris stock exchange due to“tough market conditions”.

The Kingdom Holding Company is a Saudi conglomerate holding company based in Riyadh, which is a publicly listed company on the Tadawul.

Dubai-based Rotana is perhaps the most intriguing of Deezer’s new investors.

The company, primarily owned by its Chairman – Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal – is a pan-Arab media conglomerate.

Its assets include a film production company (Rotana Studios), a magazine (Rotana Magazine), a television channel (Rotana TV), seven music radio channels (Rotana Radio), a hotel management company (Rotana Hotels) and… a record label (Rotana Records).

The upshot: Deezer is part-owned by two companies, Access Industries and Rotana Group, who both own record companies (Access is the 100% owner of Warner Music Group).

Surprise surprise: as part of today’s announcement, Deezer has confirmed that it will now distribute Rotana’s content across the Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

“Rotana is the world’s premier provider of award-winning Arabic music,” said Rotana Audio CEO Salem Al Hindi in a statement.

“We are now expanding our reach and distribution by partnering with Deezer, a leading global digital music streaming service, to deliver our high-quality music content to an ever-growing global listenership in the Middle East, North Africa and other regions around the world.”

Deezer claims to have 14m active users across 180 markets, with over 50m tracks on its service.

The platform raised €100m in January 2016 from Access and Orange – a deal which took Access’s ownership of the platform to over 50%.

This was the second time that Access had invested in the Spotify rival; it joined together with Idinvest to raise an initial €100m investment into the firm back in October 2012.

Deezer’s IPO attempt in October 2015 was the last time we had real visibility into the company’s finances.

In 2014, it lost €27.2m off revenues of €141.9m, and in the first six months of 2015, it lost €8.9m off revenues of €93.2m.Music Business Worldwide

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