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European streaming music startup Spotify is raising a big round of financing from Russia’s DST, the investment company that has backed Facebook, Groupon and Zynga.

If it is raising a big round, then the company may very well join the club of extremely valuable tech startups in an age when big private equity companies such as DST are willing to provide them with lots of money in lieu of an initial public offering. DST is the lead investor in the deal, which could include other investors.

Spotify provides cloud-based streaming music in Europe. But it hasn’t entered the US market, even though rival Apple has purchased the Lala music streaming service and is expected to come out with its own music streaming service. Music streaming is considered more appealing than the iTunes download model, since users can listen to their music anywhere.

The deal values the London-based company at about $1 billion, according to TechCrunch. The round may be $100 million or more, TechCrunch said, citing anonymous sources. The company has raised $112 million to date, including a small round a year ago from Founders Fund.

DST has written huge checks at very high valuations, but the company headed by Yuri Milner has proven very shrewd. It’s Facebook investment, for instance, has skyrocketed in value since DST bought the Facebook shares.


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