Deals

Did French music site Deezer just raise $130M from Warner parent group? The facts

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Image Credit: top image courtesy of olly, Shutterstock.

Parisian daily Le Figaro is today reporting that Deezer, the popular France-based music site, has raised a huge €100 million ($130 million) round of funding from Access Industries, Warner Music Group’s parent company.

We’ve reached out to Deezer reps and are waiting for confirmation of the funding; however, we already know enough about the company and the alleged investor to say this trumor sounds pretty reliable.

First of all, Deezer is throwing a huge bash in London this coming Tuesday, ostensibly to celebrate its first anniversary in the UK and to announce new funding, as well. The funding details were hinted at but not fully revealed in an invitation sent to press.

Also, the company is in the middle of an aggressive 200-country rollout; it currently counts 91 territories in its lineup of markets. That expansion alone would require an extra financial push in excess of Deezer’s current subscriptions revenue. The company has also announced a string of licensing agreements with record labels and music festival sponsorships — meaning even more expenditures depleting Deezer’s overall warchest.

French paper Les Echoes reported Deezer was hunting for a big round — between €50 million and €100 million — as long ago as February. At that time, no specific potential investors were named.

Access Industries, the rumored investor, has significant media and telecom holdings, including Warner Music Group, which Access bought in May 2011 for $3.3 billion cash. Other entertainment and telecom holdings include UK pay television service Pop Up TV, UK-based mobile messaging service Acision, mobile Scandinavian broadband service net1, Russian TV production company Amedia, and Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey’s Icon Group, based in Los Angeles.

Deezer previously took a couple modest rounds of $6.8 million in 2007 and $12.5 million in 2008. Recent years have brought integrations with Facebook and Orange to help to boost the service’s subscription numbers. Currently, the site claims 26 million users, 6 million unique monthly visitors, and more than 1.5 million paying monthy subscribers to the its premium services.

top image courtesy of olly, Shutterstock