Spotify’s $250m backer leads $60m investment in Believe Digital

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Believe Digital has received $60m growth capital investment from Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) and XAnge.

TCV is a serial investor in digital and content companies, whose previous bets include Vice Media, for whom it led a $250m round of funding in September 2014.

Its most notorious investment, though, came in November 2013, when it led another $250m round of funding – this time in Spotify.

Well, not just ‘led’: reports suggest it was entirely responsible for the cash injection, used to fuel Spotify’s crucial global expansion in its quest for dominance.

TCV General Partner John Rosenberg (pictured) will now join Believe Digital’s Board of Directors.

MBW understands that TCV are fronting 90% of the $60m investment into Believe.

Meanwhile, XAnge has been a historical investor in Believe Digital since 2007. Other private equity backers of the company include GP Bullhound Sidecar and Ventech.

A digital distributor and label services provider for music and video rights-owners, Paris-born Believe was created in 2005 and now has offices in 30 countries.

It recently acquired US rival Tunecore to form a joint company whose annual turnover is said to be in the region of $250m.

“This capital will empower us to invest more to make our artists and labels successful, hire music, digital marketing and tech talent and explore acquisition opportunities.”

Denis ladegaillerie, Believe Digital

Believe is also one of the largest multi-channel networks for video distribution, with over 3 billion views per month.

CEO and Founder Believe Digital Group, Denis Ladegaillerie said of the new investment: “Believe Digital aims to become the global leader in digital distribution and label services. The rapid growth of digital music sales – which now surpass CD sales in many countries – is contributing to making Believe Digital and TuneCore increasingly attractive alternatives for labels and artists.

“The future is exciting and this capital will empower us to invest more to make our artists and labels successful, hire music, digital marketing and technology talents and explore targeted acquisition opportunities with companies that share our vision and goal.”

Ladegaillerie told MBW earlier this year that the added leverage from Tunecore would help Believe “extract very competitive market terms” for its artists in future from the likes of Spotify and Deezer.

Could having one of Spotify’s most significant shareholders on board help with that mission? It remains to be seen.

John Rosenberg from TCV said: “New distribution channels and digital marketing services are reshaping the global music industry.

“Through technological innovation and a highly disruptive and transparent business model, Believe Digital has become a powerful force in the global music industry, enabling independent labels and artists to capitalise on these emerging trends.

“We are delighted to support Denis and his team as they continue their impressive journey.”

Rodolphe Ménégaux from XAnge commented: “Believe has become a leader in the digital music industry; we are very proud to be an early investor and continue investing in such a fast growing company.

“Believe has recently made an impressive step forward in consolidating the industry with the acquisition of TuneCore.

“We are delighted to support Denis and his team in this new market phase to build the leading global independent player in the industry.“

The news comes little over three months after $60m capital was raised by Kobalt in an investment led by Google Ventures.

Believe Digital clients include such companies as World Circuit, Nettwerk Records, Planet Records, Green United Music, One Little Indian, Hospital Records, Xtra Mile Recordings and Southern Record Distribution.

It is also works with artists including Chinese Man, James Vincent McMorrow, Breton, Gavin James, The 2 Bears, Public Service Broadcasting, Queen, Monty Python, Deep Purple and many others.Music Business Worldwide

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